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Backwater Blues
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Backwater Blues: The Mississippi Flood of 1927 in the African American Imagination

Richard M. Mizelle Jr.

Abstract

Backwater Blues offers a critique of long-standing ideas of African American environmental complacency by showing the ways in which black commentators from W.E.B. Du Bois to Bessie Smith provided an ecological and intellectual criticism of the 1927 flood. Through most of the twentieth-century assumptions of black environmental complacency have given rise to the wide-spread belief that African Americans rarely expressed thoughts or ideas about their surrounding environmental world. To the contrary, African Americans have a long tradition of racial consciousness, intellectual narration, and arti ... More

Keywords: Disasters, Blues, Historical Fiction, Great Migration, Levees, 1928 Flood Control Act, Charity, New Deal, Mississippi Flood Control Project, Yazoo Mississippi Delta

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780816679256
Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816679256.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard M. Mizelle Jr., author