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After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region by Wayde Compton

After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region by Wayde Compton

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Book review

"Compton pushes us to look beneath the surface—past those comforting tales of nationhood and racial solidarity—to the more nebulous and ever-shifting truth. This is a brilliant and original work that should be mandatory reading for any student of race and history."—Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia

After Canaan, the first nonfiction book by acclaimed African Canadian poet Wayde Compton, repositions the North American discussion of race in the wake of the tumultuous twentieth century. Written from the perspective of someone who was born and lives outside of African American culture, it riffs on the concept of Canada as a promised land (or "Canaan") encoded in African American myth and song since the days of slavery. These varied essays, steeped in a kind of history rarely written about, explore the language of racial misrecognition (also known as "passing"), the failure of urban renewal, humor as a counterweight to "official" multiculturalism, the poetics of hip hop turntablism, and the impact of the Obama phenomenon on the way we speak about race itself. Compton marks the passing of old modes of antiracism and multiculturalism, and points toward what may or may not be a "post-racial" future, but will without doubt be a brave new world of cultural perception.

After Canaan is a brilliant and thoughtful consideration of African (North) American culture as it attempts to redefine itself in the Obama era.

Author
Wayde Compton
Publisher
Arsenal Pulp Press
Date of release
Pages
176
ISBN
9781551523743
Binding
Paperback
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
4
42

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