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Wayward lives, beautiful experiments : intimate histories of social upheaval / Saidiya Hartman.

Hartman, Saidiya V., author. (Author).
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Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Detroit Lakes Public Library 305.4889 HAR (Text) 33500013017587 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780393285673
  • ISBN: 0393285677
  • Physical Description: xxi, 441 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2019]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 355-418) and index.
Formatted Contents Note: A note on method -- Cast of characters -- She makes an errant path through the city. The terrible beauty of the slum -- A minor figure -- An unloved woman -- An intimate history of slavery and freedom -- Manual for general housework -- An atlas of the wayward -- A chronicle of need and want -- In a moment of tenderness the future seems possible -- The sexual geography of the Black Belt. 1900. The tenderloin. 242 West 41st street -- 1909. 601 West 61st street. A new colony of colored people, or Malindy in Little Africa -- Mistah beauty, the autobiography of an ex-colored woman, select scenes from a film never cast by Oscar Micheaux Harlem, 1920s -- Family albums, aborted future: a disillusioned wife becomes an artist, 1890 Seventh avenue -- Beautiful experiments. Revolution in a minor key -- Wayward: a short entry on the possible -- The anarchy of colored girls assembled in a riotous manner -- The arrested life of Eva Perkins -- Riot and refrain -- The socialist delivers a lecture on free love -- The beauty of the chorus -- The chorus opens the way.
Summary, etc.: "A breathtaking exploration of the lives of young black women in the early twentieth century. In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman examines the revolution of black intimate life that unfolded in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. Free love, common-law and transient marriages, serial partners, cohabitation outside of wedlock, queer relations, and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of everyday life and challenged traditional Victorian beliefs about courtship, love, and marriage. Hartman narrates the story of this radical social transformation against the grain of the prevailing century-old argument about the crisis of the black family. In wrestling with the question of what a free life is, many young black women created forms of intimacy and kinship that were indifferent to the dictates of respectability and outside the bounds of law. They cleaved to and cast off lovers, exchanged sex to subsist, and revised the meaning of marriage. Longing and desire fueled their experiments in how to live. They refused to labor like slaves or to accept degrading conditions of work. Beautifully written and deeply researched, Wayward Lives recreates the experience of young urban black women who desired an existence qualitatively different than the one that had been scripted for them--domestic service, second-class citizenship, and respectable poverty--and whose intimate revolution was apprehended as crime and pathology. For the first time, young black women are credited with shaping a cultural movement that transformed the urban landscape. Through a melding of history and literary imagination, Wayward Lives recovers their radical aspirations and insurgent desires." -- Publisher's description

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2019 February #1
    In the early decades of the twentieth century, thousands of young Black women were living in New York, Philadelphia, and other northern cities after fleeing servitude and sharecropping for the elusive dreams of freedom and opportunity. Though they were often subjected to exploitation, violence, and unsanitary living conditions, Guggenheim fellow and Columbia professor Hartman sees them as social revolutionaries, demanding the romantic and sexual liberty to socialize, dance, and shake off the restrictions of both white racism and Black respectability politics. Illustrated with startling historical photographs, Hartman's blend of narrative and imagined internal monologue uncovers a world of unjust imprisonment, child prostitution, and race riots but also lively dance halls and chorus lines and the daring transformation of tenement hallways into "places of assembly" and rooftops into "stretches of urban beach." Although all of civil society condemned them as disreputable, these pioneering young women realized that "the offense most punished . . . was trying to live free." Hartman has created an insightful feminist reassessment of a key era in American history. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Subject: African American young women > Social conditions > 19th century.
African American young women > Social conditions > 20th century.
African American young women > Sexual behavior > History.
Single women > United States > Social conditions > 19th century.
Single women > United States > Social conditions > 20th century.
Urban women > United States > Social conditions > 19th century.
Urban women > United States > Social conditions > 20th century.
Sex customs > United States > History.
Prostitution > United States > History.
Man-woman relationships.
HISTORY / Women.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies.
HISTORY / Women.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban.
African American women > Social conditions > 20th century.
African American women > History > 20th century.
African American women > Sexual behavior > History.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies.
Man-woman relationships.
Sex customs.
Single women > Social conditions.
Urban women > Social conditions.
United States.
Genre: Nonfiction.

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