Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American

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In his new book, Robert Reid-Pharr argues that black gender and sexuality have always played a crucial role in questions of black national identity. He identifies the origins of a national African American literature in the founding of the Black press in 1827 and the beginnings of a novelistic tradition in the antebellum period. Reid-Pharr shows how state conventions, churches, newspapers, and novels - predominantly aimed at Northeastern Black communities - were integral in shaping the ideal of the black family.