LIVING FOR CHANGE Is Another America Possible?By Grace Lee BoggsMichigan Citizen Black cialis online without prescription, , Jan 10, 2010
Over the holidays I re-read The Middle Passage, the award-winning novel by Charles Johnson, the African American English professor and MacArthur genius who describes himself as “first and foremost, a writer of philosophic fiction.”
I first read The Middle Passage shortly after its publication in 1990. But I got a lot more out of it this time because we are at the end of a decade during which the United States, Cheap black cialis tablets, beginning with a fraudulent presidential election in 2000, soon followed by 9/11, has been coming apart at the seams, overnight black cialis, raising the question of whether “Another America is possible.”
The novel is the story of the apocalyptic voyage of the Republic, Online black cialis, a slave ship carrying 40 Allmuseri tribespeople from Africa to be sold in New Orleans. Just as some of the crew members are preparing a mutiny against the mad Captain, the slaves themselves revolt and take control of the ship, buy black cialis online cheap. Conditions worsen; the ship runs out of food and water, Discount black cialis, diseases run rampant, survivors resort to cannibalism. Then there is a terrible storm and the ship falls apart, find black cialis on internet, spilling everyone into the ocean.
Fortunately a few survivors are picked up by Juno, a nearby floating casino, black cialis online without prescription. Cheapest black cialis prices, They include Rutherford, the young newly-emancipated African American who had stowed away on the Republic to avoid marrying the schoolteacher, Isadora; a few Allmuseri children; and Squibb, buy black cialis online without prescription, the alcoholic who has been transformed both by his work as the ship’s cook and by the disaster. Buy black cialis from us, On board the Juno, fortuitously, is Papa Zeringue, purchase black cialis without prescription, a black man who is one of the slave ship’s owners and is intent on marrying Isadora who is also on board. Buy black cialis from india, However, he is thwarted by Rutherford, who, buy black cialis pills, having been transformed by the catastrophe, Black cialis in uk, has adopted one of the Allmuseri children, and has decided that he is ready to settle down and create a family with Isadora.
The novel thus ends in the creation of family and community, order black cialis no rx, and what had been a tragedy is transformed into a comedy.
The Middle Passage was obviously inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick Black cialis online without prescription, which was first published in 1851. Black cialis alternative, Countless studies of Moby Dick over the years are evidence that a sea voyage is the perfect locale for imaginative writers to project their view of our society’s contradictions and prospects.
The Middle Passage illuminates the profound changes that have taken place in American society in the century and a half since Moby Dick. Melville’s Pequod, buy cheap black cialis internet, the whaler which was the symbol of industry in 19th America, Find discount black cialis, has become the Republic, a slave ship which is only a money maker. Ahab, order black cialis, the one-legged captain who was obsessed with pursuing the white whale, Buy generic black cialis, has become Captain Falcon, a dwarf who dreams of becoming an emperor. Ishmael, the white intellectual, is now Rutherford, a newly-emancipated African American, black cialis online without prescription. The revolt of the Allmuseri slaves is now the catalyst which leads to catastrophe, order black cialis on internet. One of the slave ship’s owners is a black man, Papa Zeringue.
Moreover, even though the Republic falls apart, a few survive decide to build family and community. They are the ones, Johnson has explained, “who are capable of change.”
Thus, a century and a half after Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Charles Johnson, an African American philosophic novelist, is using the story of a sea voyage to portray the United States as both Apocalypse and Creation, both the end of one epoch and the beginning of another.
The Middle Passage is an instructive example of what Johnson has described as “The End of the Black American Narrative” in his landmark 2008 American Scholar article. With the emergence of Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell and Barack Obama, Johnson insists, we can no longer remain stuck in the portrayal of blacks as victims which has for so long dominated the work of black novelists and historians. Our reality has become much more complex.
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