JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 399
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Bearing Witness, Bearing Whiteness
And what I am trying to suggest by what one imagines oneself
to be able to remember is that terror cannot be remembered.
One blots it out. The organism-the human being-blots it
out. One invents, or creates, a personality or a persona.
Beneath this accumulation (rock of ages!) sleeps or hopes to
sleep, that terror which the memory repudiates. [ . .] History,
I contend, is the present-we, with every breath we take,
every move we make, are History-and what goes around,
By bringing suffering near, the ties of sentiment are forged. In
letter after letter, Rankin strove to create this shared experience
of horror in order to transform his slaveholding brother, to whom
the letters were addressed, as well as the audience of readers. In
this case, pain provides the common language of humanity; it
extends humanity to the dispossessed and, in turn, remedies the
indifference of the callous.
-Saidiya V. Hartman
Photographs provide our introduction toJames Allen's Without Sanctu-
ary: Lynching Photography in America. The lynching victims occupy the
center of the photographs, and they are posed alone or with spectators to
symbolize the mob's successful hunt and killing. In his re-presentation of
the lynching photographs, Allen attempts to resist the intent of the
original photographers. In the interest of documenting past crimes now
forgotten and preventing future ones, Without Sanctuary asks its audi-
ence to look at the pictures differently from the way in which the
jac 24.2 (2004)
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Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition (U.S.). JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004, periodical, 2004; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28644/m1/145/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .