Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Originally published in 1972 and re-issued in 1993, Violence in the Black Imagination was an early attempt to overcome the pitfalls of what some academicians have termed disjunctive scholarship. Ronald Takaki reminds us that too often fiction is analyzed narrowly as an art rather than as social documents that might be useful not only to those studying literature but also to those examining history. Reviewing three fictional works, Takaki makes a case or their use as historical sources. He asserts that “black fiction not only adds to our already limited number of ante-bellum black written documents, but also represents a particularly important genre of evidence” (12). Nineteenth century fiction, according to Takaki, lends insight into the feelings and emotions African Americans harbored towards slavery -- insight often lost in traditional historical sources.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1995