Reimagining Black Power: Prison Manifestos and the Strategies of Regeneration in the Rewriting of Black Identity, 1969-2002
Corrigan, Lisa Marie
Parry-Giles, Shawn J.
MetadataShow full item record
This study is predicated upon an analysis of the manifesto as a rhetorical centerpiece of both black resistance and revolution from slavery to the present in an attempt to build on an obviously significant, yet undertheorized, genre of persuasion. It examines the history of black manifestos and moves to study the utility ands strategies of prison autobiographies and life-writings in the Black Power movement to understand the typology of discourses produced under constant surveillance and violence from the state. To this end, the study examines the life writings or, manifestos, of three Black Power activists: Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal and H. Rap Brown (now Jamil Al-Amin). Rather than studying all of their rhetorical actions during the earliest phase of the Black Power movement of the mid- to late 1960s, this study instead features the regenerative strategies within the prison manifestos of Black Power leaders who have been compelled to revise notions of Black Power after many of its leaders and followers were either jailed or killed for their revolutionary actions and commitments during the 1960s. These chapters examine the rhetorical strategies within the autobiographical manifestos that continue Black Power agitation and trace how the writers continue to serve as celebrities and Black Power leaders in a new phase of Black Power agitation. Finally, the study looks at the potentially positive and negative contributions of regenerative Black Power strategies in the autobiographical manifestos of Shakur, Abu-Jamal, and Brown, and traces the circulation of their ideologies through hip-hop culture to see how these activists continue to inform the black public sphere of incarceration.