Title

Mobility, Skepticism, and Counter-storytelling in African American Travel Writing: Carl Rowan's South of Freedom

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-28-2020

Publication Title

Journal of American Studies

First page number:

1

Last page number:

23

Abstract

In South of Freedom (1952), Carl Rowan frames his travels through an investigation of the US South in terms of his doubts about cultural change, his safety, and whites' and blacks' willingness to participate in racial reform, among other things. His skepticism about improvements in race relations and his critique of the country's inadequate progress toward such goals inform his examination of various states of freedom and unfreedom existing in the United States. Rowan's narrative and specific descriptions of his and others' mobility operate as instances of counter-storytelling that incorporate such skepticism and critique. Ultimately, his theorizing of modes of resistance to institutionalized racism through individual action serves as a model for understanding African American travel writing and mobility more generally.

Keywords

Race relations; Racial reform; States of freedom; Counter-storytelling

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature

Language

English

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