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What's My Name

What's My Name: Black Vernacular Intellectuals

Grant Farred
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    What's My Name
    Book Description:

    In this study of four citizens of the African diaspora—American boxer Muhammad Ali, West Indian Marxist critic C. L. R. James, British cultural theorist Stuart Hall, and Jamaican musician Bob Marley—Farred develops a new category of engaged thinker: the vernacular intellectual. He offers a vision of intellectual activity that is as valid in the boxing ring as in academia.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-5279-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. INTRODUCTION: Thinking in the Vernacular
    (pp. 1-26)

    Vernacularize. Explore and explicate the links between the popular and the political. Never underestimate the capacity of the popular to elucidate the ideological, to animate the political, never overlook the vernacular as a means of producing a subaltern or postcolonial voice that resists, subverts, disrupts, reconfigures, or impacts the dominant discourse. For disempowered constituencies, resistance against the domination is extremely difficult without a vernacular component. Challenging or overcoming subjugation frequently depends on those expressions of disenfranchised life that articulate ideological oppositionality and the pleasures that are contained within—and extraneous to—acts of political resistance. The political is not always...

  5. CHAPTER 1 Muhammad Ali, Third World Contender
    (pp. 27-94)

    In a career filled with truly epic pugilistic battles, the 1967 boxing match between Muhammad Ali, holder of the world heavyweight crown, and his challenger, Ernie “the Octopus” Terrell, in the Houston Astrodome ranks unexpectedly as one of the most telling contests the champion ever fought inside the ring. As an opponent, the twenty-seven-year-old Terrell was not in the class of Ali’s legendary adversaries—champions Smokin’ Joe Frazier, George Foreman, or even the aging Charles “Sonny” Liston, the first title holder whom the then Cassius Clay had dethroned in February 1964. A lanky six-five, the Chicago native Terrell boasted a...

  6. CHAPTER 2 C. L. R. James, Marginal Intellectual
    (pp. 95-148)

    It is not unusual for a single ideological crisis to constitute the most formative political event in an intellectual’s life. It is rare, however, that such a moment should arrange itself around the choice of a sporting institution. This was exactly the case for Cyril Lionel Robert James when he was a young man trying to make a decision about which cricket club in Trinidad he would join: “This, apparently simple [decision], plunged me into a social and moral crisis which had a profound effect on my whole future life.”¹ James was in a crisis because, in choosing between Maple...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Stuart Hall, the Scholarship Boy
    (pp. 149-214)

    C. L. R. James was, like Stuart McPhail Hall is, nothing if not an inveterate internationalist. James, whose life span encompassed the major moments of twentieth-century colonialism, witnessed the beginning and end of the Cold War, anticipated and was entangled in the problematics of postcolonialism, and stands as an intellectual committed to a struggle that is global rather than local in scope. A veteran of several deracinations, James was a man who experienced a deep (but never debilitating) alienation from the black majority who inhabited his native West Indies. He was able to conduct an ongoing, dynamic, and animated conversation...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Bob Marley, Postcolonial Sufferer
    (pp. 215-274)

    If Stuart Hall came to race through crisis and culture, Bob Marley understood, from his earliest days in their shared homeland, that race was culture. Race and culture were lived indistinguishably in the yards of Trenchtown, where Marley learned about music, history, politics, and religion, a part of Kingston unknown to Hall until he made acquaintance with his countryman’s music in London. This was a metropolis where Marley himself spent a great deal of time practicing his craft, a locale from which, during his exile from Jamaica, he became an internationally recognized musician. Dreadlocked and speaking unapologetically in a uniquely...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 275-296)
  10. Permissions
    (pp. 297-298)
  11. Index
    (pp. 299-316)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 317-317)