Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Mourning the failure of rights "to usher in more comprehensive change": Elisabeth S. Anker, Beloved, and Critical Race Theory

In "The ‘scent of ink’: Toni Morrison’s 'Beloved' and the semiotics of rights" (2014), Elisabeth S. Anker also argues  that Toni Morrison's 1987 novel "Beloved" "mourn[s] the failure of the Reconstruction Amendments to usher in more comprehensive change." While the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution were ratified in 1865, 1868, and 1870, respectively, the novel's main action takes place in 1873, as Southern resistance began to undermine those amendments. Similarly, Critical Race Theory emerged in the mid-1970s as an attempt to explain the limitations of the results of the Civil Rights Movement; like Morrison's novel, then, such writings also "mourn the failure of more comprehensive change."  (Andrew Shields, #111words, 22 March 2022)

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