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Burning Waters Rise

Burning Waters Rise

Richard Wright’s Blues Voice and the Double Environmental Burden of Race

(p.51) 2 Burning Waters Rise
Backwater Blues
Richard M. Mizelle
University of Minnesota Press

Chapter II redefines the importance of Richard Wright’s protest literature and environmental blues voice through two short stories he published on the 1927 flood, “The Man Who Saw the Flood” and “Down by the Riverside.” Wright’s fascination with the 1927 flood suggests the disaster was still a powerful metaphor of race and environmentalism in the 1930s.

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

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