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Nobody's Protest Novel: Novelistic Strategies of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Nobody's Protest Novel: Novelistic Strategies of the Black Lives Matter Movement Vincent Haddad Nobody’s Protest Novel Novelistic Strategies of the Black Lives Matter Movement Though the medium of the novel may seem anachronistic for a Black liberation movement founded by three queer Black women—Alicia Garza, Patrisse K han- Cullors, and Opal Tometi—on Twitter, the stunning blockbuster success of Angie Thomas’s 2017 debut novel e Th Hate U Give represents a high- wa ter mark for an already- rich archive of what we might label BLM novels. 1 A fictionalized re- presentation of the precipitating events and formation of BLM, the retrospective quality of this realist novel oer ff s an opportunity to reflect on the novelistic strate- gies pursued by African American novelists since the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and to interrogate which formal commitments and ae ff ctive states best align with and provoke the Movement’s radical imaginary. While similarities in content are evident in a survey of these novels (nearly all, for example, focalize from the perspective of young Black adults and feature violent and sometimes fatal confron- tations with police officers), there is significant diversity in the novelistic strategies and forms these works undertak2e W . hen measured against the now fully devel- oped Movement http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Nobody's Protest Novel: Novelistic Strategies of the Black Lives Matter Movement

The Comparatist , Volume 42 – Nov 19, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Vincent Haddad Nobody’s Protest Novel Novelistic Strategies of the Black Lives Matter Movement Though the medium of the novel may seem anachronistic for a Black liberation movement founded by three queer Black women—Alicia Garza, Patrisse K han- Cullors, and Opal Tometi—on Twitter, the stunning blockbuster success of Angie Thomas’s 2017 debut novel e Th Hate U Give represents a high- wa ter mark for an already- rich archive of what we might label BLM novels. 1 A fictionalized re- presentation of the precipitating events and formation of BLM, the retrospective quality of this realist novel oer ff s an opportunity to reflect on the novelistic strate- gies pursued by African American novelists since the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and to interrogate which formal commitments and ae ff ctive states best align with and provoke the Movement’s radical imaginary. While similarities in content are evident in a survey of these novels (nearly all, for example, focalize from the perspective of young Black adults and feature violent and sometimes fatal confron- tations with police officers), there is significant diversity in the novelistic strategies and forms these works undertak2e W . hen measured against the now fully devel- oped Movement

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 19, 2018

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