Journal of Socialomics

Journal of Socialomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0358

+44-1993-227344

Abstract

Afro-American Prison Writings: Undoing Race Trouble and Doing Trauma Recovery

Ismail Frouini

Race is a discursive-per formative construct. It is the by-product of the knowledge and power relations dynamics.Afro-American dissidents have been once shaped by these power relations and therefore have been subject tothese race dynamics. Afro-American prison writings are counter-discourses and testimonies against the atrocities of“white” women during the Civil Rights movement era. Since their historical trauma of enslavement, Afro-Americanprison writers have left testimonies and diaries about the ordeal of their captivity. The corpus of prison writingsdocuments an important historical period of activism and state repression. This paper investigates the notion of raceas a discursive construct and analyses how such discourse perpetuates power relations underlying the oppressedand the oppressor, the dominant and the subaltern in Afro-American prison writings. It also analyses how Afro-American prisoners reveal and recover from the trauma they have undergone in the “white” ideological stateapparatus, prison. It is premised upon offering a reading from a cultural studies perspective. Both detainees havewitnessed the trauma caused by the atrocities committed against colored people by the “white” racists outside andinside prison during the era of Civil Rights Movement.

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