Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 July 2021
This chapter examines Wright’s critical appropriation of the Chicago Tribune’s coverage of the Robert Nixon murder trial (1938-39). Although Nixon was tried and executed for murdering Florence Johnson (a white woman), the Tribune routinely – and groundlessly – called the Black teenager a “rapist.” As Wright reminds us, if fascination with the condemned African American criminal dates back to the Puritan gallows ritual, the trope of the “Black beast rapist” evokes lynching in the post-Reconstruction South. With Native Son’s pointed revisions of the Tribune’s racist coverage, Wright exposes the press as the conduit by which the extrajudicial violence and dehumanizing rhetoric of the lynch mob entered the Northern courtroom.
To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com 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.
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.
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.