In the absence of integration: Working in and against nation in erna brodber's Louisiana

Shaundra Myers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Animated by the efforts of historians and sociologists over the past decade to conceptualize a long civil rights period, this article examines how the conspicuous absence of the 1950s and 1960s from Jamaican writer Erna Brodber's novel Louisiana (1994) constitutes an act of black ellipsis that opens up space to envision, from our post-civil rights standpoint, alternative courses of history. Using comparative historicist analyses, the article reads the nation-centric US identity promised by sanctioned forms of integration such as the Federal Writers Project against the alternative modes of identity found in Louisiana's recovered diasporic history and the Universal Negro Improvement Association's transnational delegation, for example. Focusing on Brodber's rehistoricization of black diasporic cultural and labor issues in the simultaneously US and global setting of southern Louisiana, In the Absence of Integration argues that Brodber overwrites the nationalist thrust of US projects of racial integration by recuperating diasporic affiliations forged earlier in the century and resituating US blackness in global terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-244
Number of pages15
JournalAfrican and Black Diaspora
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • African diaspora
  • Garvey
  • brodber
  • federal writers project
  • integration
  • labor
  • transnational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'In the absence of integration: Working in and against nation in erna brodber's Louisiana'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this