• The Multicultural Megalopolis: African-American Subjectivity and Identity in Contemporary Harlem Fiction

      Joyce, Joyce Ann, 1949-; Brivic, Sheldon, 1943-; Williams, Roland Leander; Honey, Maureen, 1945- (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      The central aim of this study is to explore what I term urban ethnic subjectivity, that is, the subjectivity of ethnic urbanites. Of all the ethnic groups in the United States, the majority of African Americans had their origins in the rural countryside, but they later migrated to cities. Although urban living had its advantages, it was soon realized that it did not resolve the matters of institutional racism, discrimination and poverty. As a result, the subjectivity of urban African Americans is uniquely influenced by their cosmopolitan identities. New York City's ethnic community of Harlem continues to function as the geographic center of African-American urban culture. This study examines how six post-World War II novels --Sapphire's PUSH, Julian Mayfield's The Hit, Brian Keith Jackson's The Queen of Harlem, Charles Wright's The Wig, Toni Morrison's Jazz and Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was a Number Runner-- address the issues of race, identity, individuality and community within Harlem and the megalopolis of New York City. Further, this study investigates concepts of urbanism, blackness, ethnicity and subjectivity as they relate to the characters' identities and self-perceptions. This study is original in its attempt to ascertain the connections between megalopolitan urbanism, ethnicity, subjectivity and African-American fiction.