Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-n9lxd Total loading time: 0.452 Render date: 2022-10-05T15:47:18.480Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": true, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Chapter 9 - Liberalism and the Color Line

from Part II - Social and Cultural Contexts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 July 2021

Michael Nowlin
Affiliation:
University of Victoria, British Columbia
Get access

Summary

As Richard Wright was establishing his career in the 1940s, he maintained profitable but uneasy relationships with white audiences, especially those approaching his works within the political liberalism that held sway over much of American culture in this period. While Wright’s works struck a powerful chord in redirecting American culture to acknowledge the costs of race-based exclusion, the extent of that change was only ever partial, and often depended on Wright’s narratives being disseminated and received along the lines of established, white cultural parameters. At the same time, the commercial and critical successes of Native Son and Black Boy established the foundation for Wright’s career, and his interactions with white writers, living and dead, provided influential models and connections. This essay explores this tension while situating Wright’s work and publishing history in relation to civil rights activism and cultural liberalism in the 1940s, and its (sometimes distorted) reflection in the images of Wright circulated by his publishers and the mainstream press, by tracing the paratextual materials attached to Wright’s books and the wide range of publication venues in which his stories and essays appeared.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×