New PDF release: Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of

By E. Patrick Johnson

ISBN-10: 0822331543

ISBN-13: 9780822331544

Performance artist and student E. Patrick Johnson’s provocative research examines how blackness is appropriated and performed—toward broadly divergent ends—both inside and out of doors African American tradition. Appropriating Blackness develops from the rivalry that blackness within the usa is inevitably a politicized identity—avowed and disavowed, appealing and repellent, mounted and malleable. Drawing on functionality thought, queer reviews, literary research, movie feedback, and ethnographic fieldwork, Johnson describes how various constituencies again and again attempt to prescribe the bounds of "authentic" blackness and the way functionality highlights the futility of such enterprises.

Johnson appears at a number of websites of played blackness, together with Marlon Riggs’s influential documentary Black Is . . . Black Ain’t and comedic exercises by means of Eddie Murphy, David Alan Grier, and Damon Wayans. He analyzes nationalist writings via Amiri Baraka and Eldridge Cleaver, the vernacular of black homosexual tradition, an oral background of his grandmother’s adventure as a family employee within the South, gospel track as played via a white Australian choir, and pedagogy in a functionality experiences school room. by way of exploring the divergent goals and results of those performances—ranging from resisting racism, sexism, and homophobia to apart from sexual dissidents from the black community—Johnson deftly analyzes the a number of significations of blackness and their myriad political implications. His reflexive account considers his personal complicity, as ethnographer and instructor, in authenticating narratives of blackness.

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Read e-book online Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of PDF

Functionality artist and student E. Patrick Johnson’s provocative learn examines how blackness is appropriated and performed—toward extensively divergent ends—both inside and out of doors African American tradition. Appropriating Blackness develops from the competition that blackness within the usa is unavoidably a politicized identity—avowed and disavowed, beautiful and repellent, mounted and malleable.

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Paradoxically, the fact that homosexuality is seen as the ‘‘final’’ break suggests that the direct line to an original template of black masculinity was cut in spite of rather than because of homosexual identification. Nonetheless, the black homosexual becomes the site of displaced anger for the black heterosexual, the scapegoat used to thwart his own feelings of inadequate manhood. The result is a disavowal that locks the homosexual outside the bounds of authentic blackness even when the black homosexual’s ‘‘caring,’’ ‘‘sharing,’’ and ‘‘contributions,’’ like that of black women, stand for some of the most radical political efforts in the struggle for racial equality.

13 This association of the folk with black authenticity necessarily renders the black middle class as inauthentic and apolitical. Indeed, over the years various black scholars, writers, and activists have located authentic blackness within poor and working-class black communities, suggesting, according to Valerie Smith, that the black working class ‘‘is an autonomous space, free of 22 The Pot Is Brewing negotiations with hegemony, that contains the pure source of musical and spiritual culture and inspiration.

For sure, the margins of my field notes are filled with my exploits of going ‘‘Down Under’’ but, alas, these tales remain tangential to gospel music performance in the land of Oz. I offer this caveat not as an apology, but rather as a way to frame the methods deployed here and to point out the ways in which blackness is imbricated in multiple identity markers. This book is an explicit attempt to fully entwine theory and praxis. In so doing, its chapters embrace the myriad intersections of culture and politics by calling attention to the process of doing blackness.

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Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity by E. Patrick Johnson


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