Shakespeare’s Aaron as a figure of Black anger

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Asia Briana Brown (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Feather

Abstract: Black Anger has often been misinterpreted as an irrational response of Black people to perceived injustices. Black anger is a response to the fear of possessing an endangered body by the constructed White body superior. In my thesis, I explore three contexts of Black anger: Aaron the Moor from Shakespeare’s 1594 revenge tragedy, Titus Andronicus; Amiri Baraka’s 1965 protest poem, “Black Art,” and Black Panther’s cinematic villain, Erik Killmonger. While Black anger is expressed in many ways, I argue that each context of Black anger is manifested to destroy White supremacy. Black anger is developed in Aaron throughout the play as his Blackness is constantly made visible, gradually becoming a political target of racist assault by the play’s ethnic White characters, the Roman Andronici and the Goths. To understand Aaron as a figure of precolonial Black anger, I examine Baraka’s “Black Art” poem as a post-colonial battle cry for decolonization of the Black body from the constructed White body superior and to destroy White supremacy to build a Black world. Killmonger similarly represents a contemporary Black anger because he seeks vengeance against structural supremacy and the global colonization of Black bodies on all continents, especially, North America and his native African homeland, Wakanda. Through these contexts of Black anger, I argue that Black anger is used as a catalyst to destroy the institution of White supremacy through protest or violence and to return the constructed Black inferior body to power.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Black Anger, Decolonization, Destruction, White Supremacy
Shakespeare, William, $d 1564-1616. $t Titus Andronicus
Baraka, Amiri, $d 1934-2014. $t Black art
Black Panther (Motion picture : 2018)
Racism in literature
Blacks in literature
Anger in literature

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