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Black Thunder: Gabriel’s Revolt: Virginia, [Arna Bontemps] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. ‘Gabriel Prosser’s slave revolt. Arna Bontemps’s Black Thunder is a celebration of revolution presented through a historical novel of the Gabriel’s Revolt. It failed as did. In response to the genre of the traditional slave narrative, Arna Bontemps, the author of Black Thunder commented, “The Negro’s suffering in.

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African American literature professor. In Black Thunder, both are meant to be present simultaneously, but the reader is encouraged to connect with the hero on the level of language far more than he is in terms of narrative. On the other hand, we recognize that the central character Arna Bontemps creates in Black Thunder is actually a figure from historical facts and this creates an immediate tension.

For instance, one of the most compelling examples of this is when Gabriel is about to be hanged. Gabriel and his followers moved to rebellion out of local conditions and offenses, but much of their inspiration came from across the sea. Had to read for a class. Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources.

Black Thunder by Arna Bontemps.

Black Thunder: Gabriel’s Revolt: Virginia, 1800

Bontemp with This Book. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed.

A fine historical novel based on an actual slave-revolt led by Gabriel Prosser, one that sent shock-waves throughout the South. Ringleader of mad dogs. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Although this tension is always looming in the background, it is still useful to think about the ways in which language and narrative can invoke a revolutionary response in the reader, even far after the event has passed.


Advanced search All these words. It is clear that Bontemps sides with the slave uprising, but he also allows for great complexity and conflicting emotions in his characters, making, for example, Ben, the servant in charge of one of the plantation houses, a deeper character than the usual stereotype of the “house slave” usually accounts for.

Mel rated it really liked it Jul 14, To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. There was grief in the treetops, a tall wind bearing down. Jun 03, Hans Ostrom rated it it was amazing Shelves: The night of the march on Richmond, the heavens fall, the Negroes melt away, the revolt is postponed. In crafting this narrative Black Thunderhowever, there is complex interplay between actual history, language, and fiction that makes this an enigmatic story worthy of deep questioning, analysis, and even open criticism.


Gabriel is passionate and incredibly prone to the power of language and this, coupled with his intensity and drive to become a truly free man, makes him on par with the heroes of ancient literature as well as those of more contemporary fame such as Douglass or Jacobs. And then the whole old track of thoughts about why does African American culture fascinate me so much, why does a novel like this speak to me so much more strongly than ‘The Great Gatsby’ or more to the point, Isaac Bashevis Singer?

This book is a fictionalized retelling of an actual slave revolt that took place in Virginia. It is my desire that liberty and equality shall reign.

I understand its importance but I didn’t find anything I could personally connect to that would make me love this.

Santiago’s Boat The counterculture musings nontemps Steven Pepper. Bontemps also displays empathy for the characters who do not wish to participate in the revolt because they botnemps not wish to be involved in the death of people, even if they are white oppressors. I always get a little thrill when in the author’s bio it says “Librarian. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions.


Most significant to me was the yearning I could sense from Bontempts pen follow, in a sense, Gabriel’s example. While the reader is certainly aware that the central character is written as semi-fictional, the tension is always present.

Is non-violence, really the answer to being kicked in the face? That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die. He is humble, yet his simple language belies his complexity. What the Arna Bontemps has done in Black Thunder in essence, is created an African American slave epic, which is most visible in the way he constructs the hero, Gabriel. Pengxeu rated it liked it Jun 03, Instead of speaking as he does throughout the text, he suddenly becomes next to mute and oversimplified in his verbal response to his situation.

This book, written at the end of the “Harlem” Renaissance it was written in Los Angelesand reprinted during the Black Power movement with the hope of gaining a little more recognition, this story is an analogue for struggle of many generations after Gabriel Prosser who still weren’t quite equal.

Bllack clearly wanted his reader to be inspired by the history of resistance.

Black Thunder by Arna Bontemps

Here we are faced arrna the decision of whether or not we should cast aside historical reality in favor of a romanticized character or if we should simply continue the struggle of balancing the two possible truths. A fascinating part of the novel is the global perspective of the rebellion. Oct 27, Karen rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: