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SouthscapesGeographies of Race, Region, and Literature$
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Thadious M. Davis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835210

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869321_davis

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Race, Region, & Reclamation

(p.23) Chapter one Southscapes

Thadious M. Davis

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter is divided into two sections. The first looks at important books such as From Slavery to Freedom (1947) by John Hope Franklin, which reclaimed both the public and intellectual space of the region. It discusses the impact of the 1896 “separate but equal” decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. It was after the 1960s that authors such as Alice Walker, Margaret Walker Alexander, and Ernest Gaines wrote seminal books claiming a region of their own. In a later book following the controversy surrounding The Color Purple, Walker wrote The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult (1996) which addresses the complexities of defining space and belonging to a particular location. In the context of spatial identity, works of other authors such as Alex Haley, Toni Morrison, Patricia J. Williams, and Carol Stack are also discussed here. The second section shows how the work of poet Natasha Trethewey reimagines and reclaims the South of the African American writers of the 1970s and 1980s.

Keywords:   Alice Walker, Margaret Walker Alexander, Plessy v. Ferguson, Natasha Trethewey, The Color Purple

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