1st Edition

The Other Reconstruction Where Violence and Womanhood Meet in the Writings of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Angelina Weld Grimke, and Nella Larsen

By Ericka M. Miller Copyright 2000

    First published in 2000. The Other Reconstruction examines groundbreaking works by three African American women whose writings expose the economic, political, and social factors that sustained race violence in post-Reconstruction United States. Their works demonstrate that fixed representations--of race, gender, and class--are a prerequisite of tolerated interracial and intraracial violence. Ida B. Wells-Barnett's works challenge the lynching narrative and reveal that this violence depended upon the personal and political silence of women. Angelina Weld Grimke's short stories critique class-based strategies of Negro advancement as they expand conventional conceptions of race violence. Nella Larsen's novels explore the problems of cultural fixity. These writers' examination of the potential violence of fixed representations informs later acts of cultural expression as well as future liberation struggles.

    Chapter 1 Telling Stories: IdaB. Wells-Barnett’s Southern Horrors, Chapter 2 Before the Rope and Fire: Ida B. Wells-Bamett’s A Red Record and Mob Rule in New Orleans Chapter 3 The Fly in the Buttermilk, or The Legacy of Margaret Garner: Despair, Agency, and Retaliation in Angelina Weld Grimk6’s Birth Control Stories, Chapter 4 Passing As and Passing On: Memory and Mobility from James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man to Nella Larsen’s Quicksand and Passing, Chapter 5 Conclusion: High-Tech Lynchings


    Ericka L. Miller