Delany's Comet: Fugitive Science And The Book Rusert Analysis

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Rusert, B. "Delany’s Comet: Fugitive Science and the Speculative Imaginary of Emancipation." American Quarterly, vol. 65 no. 4, 2013, pp. 799-829. Print.
Thesis: In the 19th century U.S., race science was used to justify the treatment of enslaved African Americans and other minorities being treated as lesser beings. Yet at the same time, when slaves were brought across the Atlantic, they helped to reshape the way the nation would operate and its many understandings of science. Rusert argues that during the 1850s, racist Southerners gained more political power through race science, although not all race scientists were from the South (they hailed from the South, the North, and European countries like Germany). While African Americans still participated in scientific discourse, largely through the black press, their contributions were not acknowledged by whites.
Evidence/ Method: Rusert uses her background in African American Literature to create a cohesive understanding about race science in Americans through historical and literary documents. She uses various articles including Fredick Douglass’ Paper (1855) and the Christian Recorder (1861) as a starting point for her argument. She then uses
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She reminds us that we must consider that science is always practiced within historical contexts; still today science can potentially be damaging and/or exclusionary to certain groups of people. Before reading this article, I did not know about race science in the 19th century. Whether Rusert intended this or not, I took this as a reminder of the importance of knowing one’s culture and not underestimating the knowledge of aggrieved communities. Rusert organizes the essay well and uses subheadings to great effect; without these, it would be easy for a reader to get overwhelmed by all the different types of knowledge they are being exposed

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