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African American Culture and Legal Discourse

Overview

This work examines the experiences of African Americans under the law and how African American culture has fostered a rich tradition of legal criticism. Moving between novels, music, and visual culture, the essays present race as a significant factor within legal discourse. Essays examine rights and sovereignty, violence and the law, and cultural ownership through the lens of African American culture. The volume argues that law must understand the effects of particular decisions and doctrines on African American ...

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Overview

This work examines the experiences of African Americans under the law and how African American culture has fostered a rich tradition of legal criticism. Moving between novels, music, and visual culture, the essays present race as a significant factor within legal discourse. Essays examine rights and sovereignty, violence and the law, and cultural ownership through the lens of African American culture. The volume argues that law must understand the effects of particular decisions and doctrines on African American life and culture and explores the ways in which African American cultural production has been largely centered on a critique of law.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a highly original, engaging scholarly contribution to an understanding of African American life, language, and law. It takes ‘law and literature’ to a whole new level. The informative essays that comprise the book, whether personal reflections or technical explorations of statutes, are nothing short of refreshing—bold, informative, full of surprises.”—Anita L. Allen, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230619883
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/8/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lovalerie King is Associate Professor of English, Affiliate Faculty in Women’s Studies, and Director of the Africana Research Center at Penn State-University Park. She is the author of Race, Theft, and Ethics: Property Matters in African American Literature and The Cambridge Introduction to Zora Neale Hurston and is the co-editor of James Baldwin and Toni Morrison: Comparative Critical and Theoretical Essays and New Essays on the African American Novel: From Hurston and Ellison to Morrison and Whitehead.

Richard Schur is Associate Professor and Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at Drury University. He is the author of Parodies of Ownership: Hip Hop Aesthetics and Intellectual Property Law. His articles and essays on African American literature, hip-hop studies, African American art, critical race theory, and intellectual property law have appeared in several edited collections and in jourbanals such as Contemporary Literature, American Studies, African American Review, Biography, and Law & Inequality.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Justice Unveiled—Lovalerie King and Richard Schur
• PART I: Rights and Sovereignty
• Reading Back, Reading Black—Bennett Capers
• W. E. B. Du Bois and the Right to Privacy—Karla F. C. Holloway
• Martin R. Delany and Rhetorics of Divided Sovereignty—Rochelle Raineri Zuck
• On Black Freedmen—Matthew Fletcher
• It Falls to You: Rawls, Bartleby, and the Ethics of Affirmative Action in Charles Johnson’s "Executive Decision"—William Gleason
• PART II: Legal Violence
• On Lucy Terry—Sharon Harris
The Fire Next Time and the Law—D. Quentin Miller
• "Fists and the Voices of Sorrowful Women": Race, Gender, and the Law's Violence in Toni Morrison's Jazz—Charlton Copeland
• When Testimony Fails: Law and the Comforts of Intimacy in Gayl Jones’s Corregidora—Rebecca Wanzo
• PART III: Owning Culture * Papa's Got a Brand New Bag: James Brown, Innovation, and Copyright Law—Kevin Jerome Greene
• Legal Fictions: Trademark Discourse and Race—Richard Schur
• The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the (Over)Development of Gangsta Rap—Akilah Folami
• Afterword—Lovalerie King

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