Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 3(6), pp. 284 - 288
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2015.030605
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African American Wounds: Broken Memories and the Traumatic Outcome of Racist Stereotypes in Bernice L. McFadden's Gathering of Waters


Vicent Cucarella-Ramon *
Department of English and German Philology, University of Valencia, Spain

ABSTRACT

The haltingly dark past of the United States has proved to be utterly decisive in the formation of an unalloyed epistemology for African Americans. The blatant racism relegated them to the margins of the young nation ever since its foundation. Thus, trauma and sorrow have evolved into challenging concepts which overlap taking into account the transnational and transcultural memory of a considerable part of the African American population. Drawing on the concept of trauma as proposed by critics such as Cathy Caruth or Dominick LaCapra, this article analyzes Bernice L. McFadden's novel Gathering of Waters, published in 2013, as a literary account of the aftermaths that result from the traumatic experiences that African American population have historically had to put up with. Namely, I contend that the racist stereotypes of the lustful Jezebel and the myth of the ‘buck' as a violent and virile black man have a direct impact in the tragic destiny that falls upon the main characters Tass Hilson and Emmett Till respectively. I submit that Tass' meandering into madness and the eventual assassination of Emmett Till are blunt results of the interiorization of the racist stereotypes that white America created to justify the violence impinged on African Americans. The novel totters beautifully and tragically on the precipice of the traumatic past to explain the racial nightmares of contemporary North America and nurtures readers to digest the broken soul of black Americans.

KEYWORDS
Stereotypes, Racism, Memory

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Vicent Cucarella-Ramon , "African American Wounds: Broken Memories and the Traumatic Outcome of Racist Stereotypes in Bernice L. McFadden's Gathering of Waters," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 284 - 288, 2015. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2015.030605.

(b). APA Format:
Vicent Cucarella-Ramon (2015). African American Wounds: Broken Memories and the Traumatic Outcome of Racist Stereotypes in Bernice L. McFadden's Gathering of Waters. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 3(6), 284 - 288. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2015.030605.