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Bad Men

Creative Touchstones of Black Writers
Howard Rambsy II


BUY Cloth · 232 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813944128 · $59.50 · Apr 2020
BUY Paper · 232 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813944135 · $29.50 · Apr 2020
BUY Ebook · 232 pp. · ISBN 9780813944142 · $29.50 · Apr 2020

How have African American writers drawn on bad men and black boys as creative touchstones for their evocative and vibrant art? This is the question posed by Howard Rambsy’s new book, which explores bad men as a central, recurring, and understudied figure in African American literature, and music. By focusing on how various iterations of the black bad man figure serve as creative muse and inspiration for literary production, Rambsy puts a wide variety of contemporary African American literary and cultural works in conversation with creativity research for the first time.

Employing concepts such as playfulness, productivity, divergent thinking, and problem finding, Rambsy examines the works of a wide range of writers—including Elizabeth Alexander, Amiri Baraka, Paul Beatty, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tyehimba Jess, Trymaine Lee, Adrian Matejka, Aaron McGruder, Evie Shockley, and Kevin Young—who have drawn on notions of bad black men and boys to create innovative and challenging works in a variety of genres. Through groundbreaking readings, Rambsy demonstrates the fruitfulness of viewing black literary art through the lens of the field of creativity research.

Reviews:


In this highly original study, Howard Rambsy offers cogent and thoughtful analyses of black writing and puts a wide variety of contemporary African American literary and cultural works in conversation with creative theory.

Candice Jenkins, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, author of Black Bourgeois: Class and Sex in the Flesh

About the Author: 

Howard Rambsy II is Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and author of The Black Arts Enterprise and the Production of African American Poetry.

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