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Black Masculinities as Marronage: Claude McKay's Representation of Black Male Subjectivities in Metropolitan Spaces

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Brown,Jarrett Hugh (Author)
Publication Date:
Virginia: The College of William and Mary
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, Literature, African diaspora, McKay, Claude, 1890-1948, marronage, Black masculinities
209 p., Explores the representation of black masculinities in Claude McKay's novels, Home to Harlem (1928), Banjo (1929) and Banana Bottom (1933). I use the trope of marronage to theorize McKay's representations of black male subjectivities across a range of African diasporan spaces in the Caribbean, the USA and Europe, arguing that McKay's male characters negotiate these diasporan spaces with the complex consciousness and proclivities of maroons. Through the trope of marronage, the project will demonstrate how McKay's male characters use their maroon conditions to map, explore and define a black diasporan experience -- one, moreover, that is shaped by "creolizations"-- the various pushes and pulls of multiple forms of psychological and cultural crossover. The Introduction places marronage in its historical and cultural contexts and defines who the Maroons were and what particular characteristics managed their existence. The trope of marronage, as an organizing frame for McKay's texts, is intricately tied to the understanding of how "creolization," a term that is integrally associated with the Caribbean experience of hybridity, as both an experience and a concept, structures McKay's sensibility and representations.