Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments (PDF)
Book that just oozes information and ideas that you hadn t come across before and ven though reading this was not always Zoete tranen easy I was in for a spectacular treat Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments is a visionary journey into the defiant lives of black women during Jim Crowra Great migration which breaks molds and stereotypes by showing how they broke molds and stereotypes while threatened with incarceration poverty homelessness and disenfranchisement I can t Water Music even begin to describe all the ways in which this book is groundbreaking and important First it crushes the tired narratives of Jim Crowra black women as kindly matronly housekeepers and lets them reclaim their agency sexuality ueerness and independence Second it shows how the black women had laid out the foundations of the sexual revolution way before their white counterparts This is a glorious read about Black women whose inner lives and Revived external manifestations of those rich journeys has not been documented with such grace context and beauty across fluid genders or sexualities It was a delight too to be furtherducated by the Student Research Projects in Calculus extensive lovelynd notes written by my Vassar classmate Sarah Haley a sharp scholar and xuisite writer like Hartman There is pain here of course because the history of Black women and men who did not conform to society s restrictions or twisted visions of us is replete with xamples of ways we have been harassed beaten and raped for resisting any other vision for ourselves What is most beautiful in this book is that we have always persevered in the direction of our freedom in ways that are uniuely Black and woman and that s an inheritance that cannot be denied Lyrical and mesmerizing Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments recounts the Love for Imperfect Things experiments in social arrangements young black women conducted in New York and Philadelphia during the first decades of the twentieth century The book focuses on the waves of Black youth who moved from the rural South to industrial northern cities in search of fulfilling lives and documents the many challenges they faced Drawing uponxtensive archival research Hartman sketches a series of moving character studies of minor and famous figures alike and she thoughtfully A Heart of Stone examines how these women constructed new ways of loving working and building community in the face Es the story of this radical social transformation against the grain of the prevailing century old argument about the crisis of the black familyIn wrestling with the uestion 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 loversxchanged sex to subsist and revised the meaning of marriage Longing and desire fueled their xperiments in how to live They refused to labor like slaves or to accept degrading conditions of workBe.
A few short passages from Wayward Lives Beautiful ExperimentsIn a novel he possessed the ability to transform a ruined girl who grew up in a brothel into a heroine but achieving the same in a sociological study proved nearl thoughts coming shortly what an xtraordinary book Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman writes and reimagines the lives of black girls women and gender nonconforming Hartman reconstructs the history of these figures who lived in a period that never wanted them to have agency desires sexuality passions and freedom the practices of refusal to live wayward beyond the respectability ideals was palpable I learned about Saidiya Hartman when she won a MacArthur Fellowship genius grant this year This book is fascinating focusing on young black women moving to Northern cities in the Language and Linguistics early 20th century and trying to find some freedom in their intimate livesven as they were relentlessly policed arrested and confined on the mere suspicion that they might be or might become sex workers for instance and the color line of segregation closed them inHartman s methods make the book very readable She finds many of her subjects in photographs and in the archives of reformatories and social workers as they are defined by a censorious white gaze Hartman fills in the gaps of these lives with speculative narratives what might these women have dreamed of What space could they make for their hopes in the narrow confines of their lives This is history I knew almost nothing about beautifully written and Divertimento engrossing A book that I feel like people should read because of the uniue historical context to archival records that it provides while also remainingxtremely culturally relevant in terms of police violence racial and gender discrimination and how hard Black women work to make their own spaces and be heard Definitely points out important gaps in the archival record and the way we talk about American history 35 stars The wild idea that animates this book is that young black women were radical thinkers who tirelessly imagined other ways to live and never failed to consider how the world might be otherwisewhat a beautiful book you can really tell that hartman has poured her heart and soul into telling these women s storiesRTC It s so rare and beautiful to read A breathtaking Love Is a Fairy Tale exploration of the lives of young black women in thearly twentieth centuryIn Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments Saidiya Hartman xamines 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 ueer relations and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of veryday life and challenged traditional Victorian beliefs about courtship love and marriage Hartman narrat.
F xtraordinary police harassment sexual violence and white paternalism Where there are gaps in the historical record the writer points them out and offers self conscious reflections on what might have happened Wayward Lives cements Dr Hartman as one of the preeminent intellectuals of our time It is one of the most compelling feminist studies I have read This book is an actualization of Hartman s critical fabulation a practice of historical speculation that coalesces the magic of literature with the methodology of history in order to respond to deliberate absences in the archive For Hartman so much falls through the cracks if we rely on history s mphasis on Bangkok Wakes to Rain events and subjects Personhood rather than being a priori status is produced by regimes of power To grant subjecthood to the dispossessed reuires another mode ofngagement Hartman departs from a reliance on spectacular acts of resistance marches policy The Right Sort of Man (Sparks Bainbridge Mystery etc and insteadxalts the uotidian lauding working class Black women and GNC people in the Darkmere early twentieth century whoxperimented with ways of being Et si la maladie n'tait pas un hasard ? everyday anarchy that surpassed the stringent parameters of labor structured by the afterlife of slavery vagrancy laws segregationtc Indeed at this time in Northern cities 910 Black women worked as domestic workers and 13 of Black people worked as servants Hartman writes stories detailing how people continued to Den of Shadows (Gamblers Den evade control by taking non traditional paths refusing normative scripts trying to live when you were never meant to survive Survival is recognized as anxperimental practice of revolution its own type of insurrection Crime is reframed as a tactic of curtailing and disappearing Black life Black women and GNC people were criminalized for their creative forms of survival practices of community mutual aid pleasure making because in this living was a generative intimate beautiful Scraps Of The Untainted Sky existence outside of the grasp of the stateThe genius is not just in what she argues but in how she argues it Shembodies stylistically the very freedom that she theorizes in the process catalyzing a new genre The The Eric Carle Gift Set elegance of her writing is breathtaking beauty is not a luxury rather it is a way of creating possibility in the space ofnclosure a radical act of subsistence an Huguenot Prophecy and Clandestine Worship in the Eighteenth Century embrace of our terribleness a transfiguration of the given A must read. Autifully written and deeply researched Wayward Lives recreates thexperience of young urban black women who desired an xistence ualitatively 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 desire.
Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments (PDF)
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Saidiya Hartman is the author of Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments Lose Your Mother A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route and Scenes of Subjection She a Guggenheim Fellow and has been a Cullman Fellow and Fulbright Scholar She is a professor at Columbia University and lives in New York