Saidiya Hartman


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New York, The United States
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Saidiya Hartman is the author of Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route, and Scenes of Subjection. She a Guggenheim Fellow and has been a Cullman Fellow and Fulbright Scholar. She is a professor at Columbia University and lives in New York.

Average rating: 4.38 · 3,687 ratings · 435 reviews · 14 distinct worksSimilar authors
Lose Your Mother: A Journey...

4.19 avg rating — 1,364 ratings — published 2007 — 6 editions
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Wayward Lives, Beautiful Ex...

4.48 avg rating — 1,778 ratings — published 2019 — 11 editions
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Scenes of Subjection: Terro...

4.58 avg rating — 451 ratings — published 1997 — 2 editions
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Anarchy of Colored Girls As...

4.83 avg rating — 23 ratings
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Wayward Lives, Beautiful Ex...

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Afro-Pessimism: An Introduc...

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Glenn Ligon: AMERICA

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4.63 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2011
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“If slavery persists as an issue in the political life of black America, it is not because of an antiquarian obsession with bygone days or the burden of a too-long memory, but because black lives are still imperiled and devalued by a racial calculus and a political arithmetic that were entrenched centuries ago. This is the afterlife of slavery--skewed life chances, limited access to health and education, premature death, incarceration, and impoverishment.”
Saidiya V. Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route

“Every generation confronts the task of choosing its past. Inheritances are chosen as much as they are passed on. The past depends less on 'what happened then' than on the desires and discontents of the present. Strivings and failures shape the stories we tell. What we recall has as much to do with the terrible things we hope to avoid as with the good life for which we yearn. But when does one decide to stop looking to the past and instead conceive of a new order? When is it time to dream of another country or to embrace other strangers as allies or to make an opening, an overture, where there is none? When is it clear that the old life is over, a new one has begun, and there is no looking back? From the holding cell was it possible to see beyond the end of the world and to imagine living and breathing again?”
Saidiya V. Hartman

“In Ghana, it is said that a stranger is like water running over the ground after a rainstorm: it soon dries up and leaves behind no traces.

“Stranger” is the X that stands in for a proper name. It is the placeholder for the missing, the mark of the passage, the scar between native and citizen. It is both an end and a beginning. It announces the disappearance of the known world and the antipathy of the new one. And the longing and the loss redolent in the label were as much my inheritance as they were that of the enslaved.”
Saidiya Hartman

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