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Baldwin, Racial Melancholy, and the Black Middle Ground
Peter Lurie

This article uses Baldwin’s 1949 essay “Everybody’s Protest Novel” to consider that literary mode’s corollary in the 1990s New Black Cinema. It argues that recent African American movies posit an alternative to the politics and aesthetics of films by a director such as Spike Lee, one that evinces a set of qualities Baldwin calls for in his essay about Black literature. Among these are what recent scholars such as Ann Anlin Cheng have called racial melancholy or what Kevin Quashie describes as Black “quiet,” as well as variations on Yogita Goyal’s diaspora romance. Films such as Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) and Joe Talbot and Jimmy Fails’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) offer a cinematic version of racial narrative at odds with the protest tradition I associate with earlier Black directors, a newly resonant cinema that we might see as both a direct and an indirect legacy of Baldwin’s views on African American culture and politics.

James Baldwin Review
Social semantics and experiments in fiction
Lynne Hapgood

well-defined contemporary genre of Victorian novels and social protest novels in particular. It would overturn the established hierarchy of class; it would subordinate individualising strategies of plot and character; it would necessarily subordinate and democratise the narratorial voice. A vision for a new fiction indeed. At the centre of Harkness’s novels were to be the voices of men and women ‘who are not heard and who do not speak’ (Rowbotham, 1983: 8): ‘Unless 133 Harkness and genre attention is paid to the nature of their silence there can be no transmission

in Margaret Harkness
Passing, racial identity and the literary marketplace
Sinéad Moynihan

writers. Given the fact that Wright’s presence haunts Erasure - at both a narrative and a meta-narrative level – it is obviously significant that the novel’s protagonist is named Thelonious Ellison. In evoking both Ralph Ellison and Wright, Everett refers to and resurrects critical debates from the 1950s and 1960s, suggesting that they are of ongoing relevance in relation to African American fiction and the literary marketplace. 54 James Baldwin’s claim in his essay ‘Everybody’s Protest Novel’ – itself an indictment of Native Son – that

in Passing into the present