Black Frankenstein

Race and political metaphor from Nat Turner to now.

by Elizabeth Young

Bride of Frankenstein, 1935. Universal Pictures. © Warner Bros. Entertainment.
  1. Thomas Dew, Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature of 1831 and 1832 (Westport, CT: Negro Universities Press, 1970), 105.
  2. Dew, Review, 6.
  3. [Anonymous], Richmond Enquirer (1831), quoted in The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831, ed. Henry Irving Tragle (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 143.
  4. Dick Gregory with Robert Lipsyte, Nigger: An Autobiography (New York: Pocket, 1965), 39.
  5. Dick Gregory, The Shadow that Scares Me, ed. James R. McGraw (New York: Pocket, 1968), 168.
  6. Richard Claxton Gregory, No More Lies: The Myth and the Reality of American History, ed. James R. McGraw (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), 278–79.
  7. Dick Gregory with Sheila P. Moses, Callus on My Soul: A Memoir (Atlanta: Longstreet, 2000), 120.
  8. Quoted in Damien Cave, “Officer Darren Wilson’s Grand Jury Testimony in Ferguson, Mo., Shooting,” New York Times, November 25, 2014,
  9. Mark Dery, “Black to the Future: Afro-Futurism 1.0” (1994), reprinted in Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction’s Newest New-Wave Trajectory, ed. Marleen S. Barr (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008), 8.
  10. Nnedi Okorafor, The Book of Phoenix (New York: DAW Books, 2015), 7, 85, and 146–47.
  11. Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black Tom (New York: Tor, 2016), 130.
  12. Victor LaValle, Victor LaValle’s Destroyer #1, illustrated by Dietrich Smith with Joana Lafuente (BOOM! Studios, May 2017).
  13. Gene Demby, “Updating Frankenstein for the Age of Black Lives Matter,” Code Switch, National Public Radio, June 22, 2017, 2017/06/22/533512719/updating-frankenstein-for-the-age-of-black-lives-matter.

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