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From slave ship to Supermax : mass incarceration, prisoner abuse, and the new neo-slave novel

Author: Patrick Elliot Alexander
Publisher: Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2018. ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In his cogent and groundbreaking book, From Slave Ship to Supermax, Patrick Elliot Alexander argues that the disciplinary logic and violence of slavery haunt depictions of the contemporary U.S. prison in late twentieth-century Black fiction. Alexander links representations of prison life in James Baldwin's novel If Beale Street Could Talk to his engagements with imprisoned intellectuals like George Jackson, who  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Alexander, Patrick Elliot, 1983-
From slave ship to Supermax.
Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2017
(DLC) 2017045777
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Patrick Elliot Alexander
ISBN: 9781439914144 1439914141 9781439914151 143991415X
OCLC Number: 982091731
Description: xiv, 242 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: antipanoptic expressivity and the new neo-slave novel --
Talking in George Jackson's shadow: neoslavery, police intimidation, and imprisoned intellectualism in Baldwin's If Beale Street could talk --
Middle passage reinstated: whispers from the women's prison in Morrison's Beloved --
"Didn't I say this was worse than prison?": the slave ship-Supermax relation in Johnson's Middle passage --
"Tell them I'm a man": slavery's vestiges and imprisoned radical intellectualism in Gaines's A lesson before dying --
Epilogue: the prison classroom and the neo-abolitionist novel.
Responsibility: Patrick Elliot Alexander.

Abstract:

In his cogent and groundbreaking book, From Slave Ship to Supermax, Patrick Elliot Alexander argues that the disciplinary logic and violence of slavery haunt depictions of the contemporary U.S. prison in late twentieth-century Black fiction. Alexander links representations of prison life in James Baldwin's novel If Beale Street Could Talk to his engagements with imprisoned intellectuals like George Jackson, who exposed historical continuities between slavery and mass incarceration. Likewise, Alexander reveals how Toni Morrison's Beloved was informed by Angela Y. Davis's jail writings on slavery-reminiscent practices in contemporary women's facilities. Alexander also examines recurring associations between slave ships and prisons in Charles Johnson's Middle Passage, and connects slavery's logic of racialized premature death to scenes of death row imprisonment in Ernest Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying. Alexander ultimately makes the case that contemporary Black novelists depict racial terror as a centuries-spanning social control practice that structured carceral life on slave ships and slave plantations-and that mass-produces prisoners and prisoner abuse in post-Civil Rights America. These authors expand free society's view of torment confronted and combated in the prison industrial complex, where discriminatory laws and the institutionalization of secrecy have reinstated slavery's system of dehumanization.

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