This study emphasizes the methodology of linguistic resistance in Eldridge Cleaver's best-known work, Soul on Ice. Through a process of signification, Cleaver works to redefine key words and concepts that form a web of racialist and racist thinking called normative whiteness. By emptying key terms, like those of "life," "liberty," and "property," Cleaver's text attempts to offer a new, less biased foundation on which a more inclusive and pluralistic American narrative can be written, a move that both makes his rhetoric significantly different from that of many contemporary resistance writers and positions him as an important link in a larger genealogy of resistance and African American literature.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Fife, James David, "Signifyin' Black Power: Soul on Ice and the Subversion of Normative Whiteness" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 2619.
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice, signification, whiteness