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Black History & America's Gothic Soul

Leila Taylor
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Leila Taylor takes us into the dark heart of the American gothic, analyzing the ways it relates to race in America in the twenty-first century.

Haunted houses, bitter revenants and muffled heartbeats under floorboards -- the American gothic is a macabre tale based on a true story.

Part memoir and part cultural critique, Darkly: Blackness and America's Gothic Soul explores American culture's inevitable gothicity in the traces left from chattel slavery. The persistence of white supremacy and the ubiquity of Black death feeds a national culture of terror and a perpetual undercurrent of mourning.

If the gothic narrative is metabolized fear, if the goth aesthetic is romanticized melancholy, what does that look and sound like in Black America?

"I am struck by the depth of Leila Taylor's vision. The generosity shown in the way a history (and present) is illuminated. This book does so much beautiful work to widen the expectations and understandings of blackness, and I am immensely thankful for it." — Hanif Abdurraqib, author of Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest and They Can't Kill Us Until they Kill Us


Leila Taylor is a former goth kid and current Creative Director at Brooklyn Public Library. She's given talks at the International Gothic Association and the Morbid Anatomy Museum, has an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and an MA in Liberal Studies from The New School of Social Research. This is her first book.


  • Darkly: Black History and America's Gothic Soul
  • Item Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • ISBN-13: 9781912248544
  • ISBN-10: 1912248549
  • Publisher: Repeater; Illustrated Edition (November 12, 2019)
  • Product Dimensions: 5.12 x 0.6 x 7.75 inches
  • Language: English
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