In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman examines 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, queer relations, and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of everyday life and challenged traditional Victorian beliefs about courtship, love, and marriage. Hartman narrates the story of this radical social transformation against the grain of the prevailing century-old argument about the crisis of the black family.In wrestling with the question 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 lovers, exchanged sex to subsist, and revised the meaning of marriage. Longing and desire fueled their experiments in how to ...
|Title||:||Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval|
|Number of Pages||:||304 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval Reviews
This is a glorious read about Black women whose inner lives and 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 further educated by the extensive, lovely end notes, written by my Vassar classmate Sarah Haley, a sharp scholar and exquisite writer like Hartman. There is pain here, of course, because the history of Black women and men who did not conform to society's restrict ...more
Beautifully written and poignant, though I did sometimes stumble a little on the genre-bending aspects of this book. It fills gaps in the archival record with some speculative, or seemingly speculative passages and I was occasionally confused about what content came from where; I think Imani Perry modelled how to do this with more precision in her biography of Lorraine Hansberry. There were also a lot of fascinating pictures in this book but they were uncaptioned and not always directly connecte ...more
After reading Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, a sensation that I couldn't quite name resonated in me. I was moved, I was amazed. The lines were savored by me, so curious and yet so profound. Some things I learned anew, some things did not surprise me. But something more was there, and I couldn't quite say what it was.
So I put off writing this review to think about it a bit more. I wanted to clean my palate and explore why I had felt this way. Read a sociology book that I hadn't touched in ...more
Hartman does it again. The absolute best scholar and thinker and writer in (all of) the academy. It's a must read for everybody.