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Claude McKay, Code Name SashaQueer Black Marxism and the Harlem Renaissance$
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Gary Edward Holcomb

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813030494

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813030494.001.0001

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The “Distilled Poetry” of Queer Black Marxism in A Long Way From Home

The “Distilled Poetry” of Queer Black Marxism in A Long Way From Home

(p.55) 2 The “Distilled Poetry” of Queer Black Marxism in A Long Way From Home
Claude McKay, Code Name Sasha

Gary Edward Holcomb

University Press of Florida

This chapter aims to trace McKay's network of imagery by focusing on his A Long Way from Home. The chapter examines his Jamaican verse and other works to see how McKay's leftism emerged alongside his sexual difference. This chapter examines Claude McKay's difficult disposition on the New Negro movement, emphasizing McKay's multiplicity. The chapter also assesses McKay's attitude towards patronage and its association to radicalism and proletarianism. The chapter begins with a discussion on Claude McKay's three years in North Africa and examines how same-sex cultures in Tangier and other Moroccan locales informed Communism, anarchism, the queer struggle, and related forms of dangerous dissidence. The chapter also considers how all of these strands of dissidence met on the issues of state chauvinism and imperialism. By laying bare the subtle poetry of memory, the queer black Marxism of Claude McKay is disclosed and is surviving beneath the levels of his simultaneous efforts to conceal his past.

Keywords:   McKay, Jamaican verse, McKay's leftism, sexual difference, New Negro movement, patronage, dissidence, queer black Marxism

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