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Publisher's Summary

Leila Taylor takes us into the dark heart of the American gothic, analyzing the ways it relates to race in America in the 21st century.

Haunted houses, bitter revenants, and muffled heartbeats under floorboards - the American Gothic is a macabre tale based on a true story. 

Part memoir and part cultural critique, Darkly: Black History and America's Gothic Soul explores American culture's inevitable gothicity in the traces left from chattel slavery. The persistence of white supremacy and the ubiquity of Black deaths feed a national culture of terror and a perpetual undercurrent of mourning. 

If the gothic narrative is metabolized fear; if the goth aesthetic is romanticized melancholy; what does that look and sound like in Black America?

©2019 Leila Taylor (P)2019 Watkins Publishing

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What listeners say about Darkly: Black History and America's Gothic Soul

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Not what I hoped

It flits around to many different topics but doesn't get particularly in depth with any of them. My main problem was the narrator mispronounced things CONSTANTLY

1 person found this helpful

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Great insights but falls a little short

This is a book written in first person, where the speaker is American. A Detroit American. Listening to the reader/performer give irregular pronunciations of words like “process,” “patina,” “Louisville,” and “Orleans” was really jarring and detracted from my immersion immensely.

There are some really unique and valuable insights here, particularly about “Strange Fruit” and other perspectives that I found very compelling.

In the discussion of forgotten black cemeteries and chattel slavery, I felt it was perhaps a bit narrow. What can be said of the Black experience, in some of the examples, could be said and worse of the Indigenous experience. It’s not a competition, and the Black experience in these examples are relevant to the discussion, but it was presented a bit like the only experience with these examples.

On the whole, however, a great treatment. Covers a lot of ground effectively. A little more editing would have gone a long way, but still worth the read.

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Read over audio

I wish I had read this great book instead of listening to the audiobook. Lachele Carl mispronounces things CONSTANTLY. From Tuskegee Airmen to Tupac.

It’s distracting and frustrating.

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Listen to this!

Great examination of American history, and current issues. Add this to your required reading list.

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Black Goth

A discussion of life as Afro-Goth within a discussion of American, urban, and musical history.

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  • David Hancock
  • 11-21-20

An essential book on the gothic

This is a must read on anyone studying or remotely interested in the gothic. It sees the gothic filtered through black American history. It is both moving and profound.

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  • Cameron Clark
  • 06-12-20

amazing

this opened up the subject more than I ever could have imagined. Goth BLM forever.