Catalogue


A fatherless child : autobiographical perspectives on African American men /
Tara T. Green.
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, 2009.
description
x, 172 p.
ISBN
0826218210 (alk. paper), 9780826218216 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, 2009.
isbn
0826218210 (alk. paper)
9780826218216 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
6783968
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-08-01:
In an attempt to understand the influence of male abandonment as portrayed in African American fiction by male writers, Green (African American studies, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro) dissects a number of 20th-century autobiographies by African American males who were abandoned by their fathers. The author crosses generational lines as she discusses Langston Hughes and Richard Wright as representing the Harlem Renaissance; Malcolm X, the civil rights era; and Barack Obama, the contemporary world. In exploring these men's journeys in search of self-identity, community belonging, and African connections, she contrasts Richard Wright's psychological quest for a resolution between personal identity and a place where he belonged with Hughes's, Malcolm X's, and Obama's more concrete mobilizations as they sought community. Appealing to a variety of areas of study--African American cultural identity, history, sociology, political science, and literature--Green admittedly engages in a dialogue with Keith Clark, author of Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest J. Gaines, and August Wilson (CH, Dec'02, 40-2015). Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. T. L. Stowell Adrian College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2009
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Examining the works of Langston Hughes, Malcolm X, and Barack Obama, Green portrays the intersecting experiences of generations of black men during the 20th century both before and after the civil rights movement, revealing the impact of fatherlessness on racial and gender identity formation.
Description for Library
"Examining the works of Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Malcolm X, and Barack Obama, Green portrays the intersecting experiences of generations of black men during the twentieth century both before and after the civil rights movement, revealing the impact of fatherlessness on racial and gender identity formation"--Provided by publisher.
Main Description
The impact of absent fathers on sons in the black community has been a subject for cultural critics and sociologists who often deal in anonymous data. Yet many of those sons have themselves addressed the issue in autobiographical works that form the core of African American literature. A Fatherless Childexamines the impact of fatherlessness on racial and gender identity formation as seen in black men's autobiographies and in other constructions of black fatherhood in fiction. Through these works, Tara T. Green investigates what comes of abandonment by a father and loss of a role model by probing a son's understanding of his father's struggles to define himself and the role of community in forming the son's quest for self-definition in his father's absence. Closely examining four works-Langston Hughes's The Big Sea, Richard Wright's Black Boy, Malcolm X's The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father-Green portrays the intersecting experiences of generations of black men during the twentieth century both before and after the Civil Rights movement. These four men recall feeling the pressure and responsibility of caring for their mothers, resisting public displays of care, and desiring a loving, noncontentious relationship with their fathers. Feeling vulnerable to forces they may have identified as detrimental to their status as black men, they use autobiography as a tool for healing, a way to confront that vulnerability and to claim a lost power associated with their lost fathers. Through her analysis, Green emphasizes the role of community as a father-substitute in producing successful black men, the impact of fatherlessness on self-perceptions and relationships with women, and black men's engagement with healing the pain of abandonment. She also looks at why these four men visited Africa to reclaim a cultural history and identity, showing how each developed a clearer understanding of himself as an American man of African descent. A Fatherless Childconveys important lessons relevant to current debates regarding the status of African American families in the twenty-first century. By showing us four black men of different eras, Green asks readers to consider how much any child can heal from fatherlessness to construct a positive self-image-and shows that, contrary to popular perceptions, fatherlessness need not lead to certain failure.
Main Description
The impact of absent fathers on sons in the black community has been a subject for cultural critics and sociologists who often deal in anonymous data. Yet many of those sons have themselves addressed the issue in autobiographical works that form the core of African American literature. A Fatherless Childexamines the impact of fatherlessness on racial and gender identity formation as seen in black men’s autobiographies and in other constructions of black fatherhood in fiction. Through these works, Tara T. Green investigates what comes of abandonment by a father and loss of a role model by probing a son’s understanding of his father’s struggles to define himself and the role of community in forming the son’s quest for self-definition in his father’s absence. Closely examining four works-Langston Hughes’s The Big Sea, Richard Wright’s Black Boy, Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father-Green portrays the intersecting experiences of generations of black men during the twentieth century both before and after the Civil Rights movement. These four men recall feeling the pressure and responsibility of caring for their mothers, resisting public displays of care, and desiring a loving, noncontentious relationship with their fathers. Feeling vulnerable to forces they may have identified as detrimental to their status as black men, they use autobiography as a tool for healing, a way to confront that vulnerability and to claim a lost power associated with their lost fathers. Through her analysis, Green emphasizes the role of community as a father-substitute in producing successful black men, the impact of fatherlessness on self-perceptions and relationships with women, and black men’s engagement with healing the pain of abandonment. She also looks at why these four men visited Africa to reclaim a cultural history and identity, showing how each developed a clearer understanding of himself as an American man of African descent. A Fatherless Childconveys important lessons relevant to current debates regarding the status of African American families in the twenty-first century. By showing us four black men of different eras, Green asks readers to consider how much any child can heal from fatherlessness to construct a positive self-image-and shows that, contrary to popular perceptions, fatherlessness need not lead to certain failure.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Where Are the Black Fathers?p. 1
The Meaning of Langston Hughes's Father-and-Son Relationshipsp. 17
Richard Wright's Fathers and Sonsp. 43
Malcolm X's Declaration of Independence from His Fathersp. 75
Barack Obama's Dreamsp. 103
The Sons Return to Africap. 133
Conclusion: Contemporary African American Fathers and Communitiesp. 161
Works Citedp. 165
Indexp. 171
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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