Publication details

Updating the Legacy of the Black Arts Movement and Staying Relevant: Reconnecting with Africa in Ishmael Reed's Japanese by Spring



Year of publication 2021
Type Chapter of a book
Description This chapter argues for reconsideration of Ishmael Reed’s position to Black Arts Movement. It shows that in his Japanese by Spring, Reed nurtures a key theme of the movement (reconnection to Africa) even at times when the movement itself could not do so and when such a literary goal was perceived as outdated. The chapter does so in the context of contemporary research on the BAM, namely via the presence of anticipation and discussion and disagreement in the novel. The chapter ultimately argues for a closer connection between Reed and the BAM by showing how prominent his vision of African reconnection is in Japanese by Spring. By doing so, it updates the common misconception regarding Reed’s relationship with the BAM and, secondly, it claims that his works should be included in the recently increased research attention paid to BAM.

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