Black Thunder: Gabriel’s Revolt: Virginia, [Arna Bontemps] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. ‘Gabriel Prosser’s slave revolt. Arna Bontemps’s Black Thunder is a celebration of revolution presented through a historical novel of the Gabriel’s Revolt. It failed as did. In response to the genre of the traditional slave narrative, Arna Bontemps, the author of Black Thunder commented, “The Negro’s suffering in.

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At points throughout Bontfmps Thunder by Arna Bontemps, it is nearly impossible to reconcile the true historical personage with the heroic character of Gabriel.

It seems that many of our radical ancestors did not think so.

Black Thunder: Gabriel’s Revolt: Virginia, 1800

We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. Laura rated it really liked it Jun 20, He bowed his head, heavy with thoughts, and waited a long moment without speaking” Bell Night That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.

There was a problem adding your email address. For blafk of us, black or white, Black Thunder has us ask a bnotemps. Is non-violence, really the answer to being kicked in the face? Black Thunder novel by Bontemps. Notify me of new comments via email. Historical fiction, with an unique episode as its focal point. His depiction of Gabriel is memorable, as is the conflicted Ben, the vain Pharaoh, and a few others.

Black Thunder by Arna Bontemps

Bontemps makes clear the proportionality of the violence as well 26 rebels were executed despite the failure of the revolt to get off the ground. Gabriel is passionate and incredibly prone to the power of language and this, coupled with his intensity and drive to become a truly free man, makes him on par with the heroes of ancient literature as well as those of more contemporary fame such as Douglass or Jacobs.

Clearly, Arna Bontemps had some idea of the complex range of emotions that inspired slaves narratives such as those by Harriet Jacobs or Frederick Douglass and understanding that he comes from such an academic understanding of such works, it is interesting how he complicates the modern slave narrative by turning it into a work of fiction, albeit one with a summary of the actual historical details combined with elements of sheer epic fantasy.


See 1 question about Black Thunder…. If violent resistance works to inspire us, or created fissures in oppressive institutions in the past, why are we so fearful of theses strategies? For a regime based on violence and enforced through violence could not be brought down without at least the threat.

This debate would not be resolved even after the successes of the Civil Rights Movement. Brandy Williams rated it liked it Jun 09, Recommended to Karen by: By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

For instance, one of the most compelling examples of this is when Tjunder is about to be hanged. As for the text itself, Bontemps writes a straight-forward account, grounded more or less on his historical wrna, on various lives intertwined with the revolt. Was the Bonte,ps Renaissance, despite its radical themes, essentially a cultural movement, without the political and revolutionary energies exhibited in the attempted revolution of Gabriel Prosser, a simple blacksmith blakc slave?

Please provide an email address. Internet URLs are the best. I am striving to this end. In his simple language we are told that he is illiterate, a hurdle that is difficult to overcome, especially during some of his more elaborate speeches and thoughts he says these words almost melodramatically. That would really start some productive discussions about the n-word, not to mention a gontemps lot of other things. Return to Book Page. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger.

The overall effect of this is not a revolutionary leader, but thunnder martyr, a victim—not something that would seem appropriate in the context of the neither true slave narrative nor traditional epics. Krystal rated it liked it Oct 04, Robbyn Graham rated it it was amazing Sep 23, The problem with this is, it does not present the reader with a realistic portrait of a condemned African fugitive, but rather a carefully sculpted hero based upon the ancient canon.


Morgan McKee rated it really liked it Jun 15, Who doesn’t love some graphic slave rebellion stories? The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Writing at the tail end of the Harlem Renaissance, Bontemps benefits both from previous writers in that movement as well as the modernist experimentation of William Faulkner Bontemps’s use of modernist techniques if more pointed and less complicated that Faulkner’s, mainly being used to express, in dialect, the thoughts of his characters without recourse to quotation marks or italics.

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I always get a little thrill when in the author’s bio it says “Librarian. Goldie Dc rated it it was ok Dec 04, Oct 27, Karen rated it it was amazing Recommends it thunedr I thhunder suggest that every time Huckleberry Finn is challenged by parents, teachers offer this as an alternative. Instead of speaking as he does throughout the text, he suddenly becomes next to mute and oversimplified in his verbal response to his situation. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [What is the significance of the concepts of “literacy” and “resistance” in this novel?

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The story of the abortive uprising of the Negro slaves in Richmond, Virginia inis told in episodic flashes and we get the story of the blacks, aroused by the rebellion of Toussaint L’Ouverture, incited by the idealism of powerful, simple Gabriel, and by a situation precipitated through the needless killing of an old slave, to battle for freedom.

A quick, satisfying, smart novel.

A forum for discussion of contemporary themes arising from the works of Richard Wagner. Thanks for telling us about the problem.