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Each Hour RedeemTime and Justice in African American Literature$
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Daylanne K. English

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816679898

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816679898.001.0001

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“The Death of the Last Black Man”

“The Death of the Last Black Man”

Repetition, Lynching, and Capital Punishment in Twentieth-Century African American Literature

(p.80) 3 “The Death of the Last Black Man”
Each Hour Redeem

Daylanne K. English

University of Minnesota Press

I focus on Grimké’s anti-lynching play Rachel (1916), Wright’s naturalist novel Native Son (1940), Gaines’s elegiac novel A Lesson Before Dying (1994), and Parks’s postmodern play The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (1990), arguing that these apparently quite disparate texts all take black male mortality as their content and repetition as their fundamental form, signifying the persistence of racially coded justice across time.

Keywords:   African American literature, Time, Timekeeping, Strategic anachronism, Strategic presentism, Citizenship, Justice, Political fictions, Legal history, Pragmatism

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