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On Acklyn Lynch's Nightmare Overhanging Darkly (1992)

Dax-Devlon Ross


When Dr. Acklyn Lynch published Nightmare Overhanging Darkly sixteen years ago, he placed himself in rare company. Few authors would attempt to chronicle the contours of a cultures tradition of resistance in a single volume; even fewer could plausibly pull such a feat off. In today's soundbyte-driven marketplace, many authors (and publishers) err on the side of specialty. Rather than engage in rigorous analysis that integrates multiple fields of inquiry, they carve out their little crevice of knowledge in hopes of perpetuating their careers as public intellectuals on the lecturing and talk-show circuits. The social-scientist doesn't dare dip into the literary critics bag. The journalist steers clear of polemics. And the historian guards himself against literary stylistics. In Nightmare, Dr. Lynch resists those constraints, though not merely because they are artificial outgrowths of the marketplace. He resists them because in order to complete his task, in order to advance the study of and appreciation for Black culture, he must. The intellectual model placed at his disposal by Western Civilization is inadequate to deal with the issues facing African-Americans. It is, in fact, at odds with Black culture.

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ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics and Consciousness. ISSN: 1543-0855 (online).
Editor: Dr. Sonjah Nadine Stanley-Niaah.

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