51.4, Going Electric

Cover art by Diedrick Brackens

51.4, Going Electric

From the introduction, “Going Electric” by Paul J. Edwards:

“Dylan is not alone in producing speculative knowledge of Black trauma within circuits of white American poetics. Ezra Pound provided the only first-person account of the death of Louis Till, Emmett Till’s father. Executed by the US Army at a detention center near Pisa, Louis’ only chronicler was his fellow prisoner, Pound, who recorded only fleeting mentions of the man in The Pisan Cantos, noting Till’s nickname by his fellow prisoners and a slightly longer passage that functions as a eulogistic note. Again, this moment is marked by its apparent ambiguity. It only becomes legible to scholars after Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam murdered Emmett Till a decade later. Maddeningly, Louis’ death was kept from his family until it was used to smear him and his dead son, suggesting that the Tills shared a genetic predisposition—like all Black men—to assault white women. Such a sardonic line retrospectively seems oddly Dylanesque with its inclusion of Louis’ death with a sense of a feast being prepared. In either case, in Pound and Dylan, the Black body can only be speculated on, never quite in focus but instead more citational than critically engaged with. Although Pound and Dylan do not feature in this issue, each of our contributors counter the obscurations of Dylan and Pound’s white poetics.”

Issue also includes the following:

  • Violent Illumination: Street Lamps as Sites of Lynching and Black Resistance, by Leah S. Yared
  • When Militancy Was in Vogue: Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, and the Precarious Desires of White Audiences, by Zachary Manditch-Prottas
  • Sex and the Future of History: Black Politics at the Limit in Sutton E. Griggs’ Imperium in Imperio, by Melissa A. Wright
  • Book Reviews: Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.: Popular Black History in Postwar America by E. James West / Sid Ahmed Ziane; Dear Science and Other Stories by Katherine McKittrick / Cera Smith; Childhood in Contemporary Diasporic African Literature: Memories and Futures Past by Christopher E.W. Ouma / Daniel Chukwuemeka; Infamous Bodies: Early Black Women’s Celebrity and the Afterlives of Rights by Samantha Pinto / Margarita Lila Rosa; Black Sexual Economies: Race and Sex in a Culture of Capital edited by Adrienne D. Davis and the BSE Collective / Kirin Wachter-Grene

For a limited time, read the introduction and “Violent Illumination” for free.


Personal subscriptions are $44 USD and include 4 issues. Until the end of 2021, you can subscribe to our 51st volume here.

In our 2022 volume, keep an eye out for Post-Soul Afro-Latinidades, Black Archival Practice (two issues), and Black Religions in the Digital Age. Our 2023 volume will include issues on Afrofuturism, and more…

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