The Moore's Ford Lynching Reenactment: Affective Memory And Race Trauma
Text And Performance Quarterly
This essay offers a close reading of the 2008 reenactment of the 1946 Moore's Ford Lynching of four African Americans in Walton County, Georgia. Throughout this fieldwork, we were ethnographically positioned as co-performative witnesses, both a part of and apart from, mirroring the tensions between the intellectual remove of much rhetorical scholarship and the embodied engagement and understanding of performance studies. A complex and sophisticated repertoire of invention shared by the coalition of activists who planned and staged the performance enabled reenactors to mobilize their bodies to construct the ineffability of traumatic memory, challenge official accounts of the lynching, and advocate hope and healing for the future. Through the cross-temporal slippage of reenactment, all in attendance were invited to occupy the subject location of moral witness. A fracture in the coalition along lines of racial privilege/subordination and gender politics revealed the differential reliance upon archival and embodied knowledge, again mirroring the tensions that bind rhetoric and performance.
Owen, A. Susan, and Peter Ehrenhaus. 2014. "The Moore's Ford Lynching Reenactment: Affective Memory and Race Trauma." Text And Performance Quarterly 34(1): 72-90.