By Gayle Wald
Wald starts off her analyzing of twentieth-century passing narratives through reading works by way of African American writers James Weldon Johnson, Jessie Fauset, and Nella Larsen, displaying how they use the “passing plot” to discover the negotiation of identification, company, and freedom in the context in their protagonists' constrained offerings. She then examines the 1946 autobiography Really the Blues, which info the transformation of Milton Mesirow, middle-class son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, into Mezz Mezzrow, jazz musician and self-described “voluntary Negro.” Turning to the 1949 movies Pinky and
Lost Boundaries, which think African American citizenship inside of class-specific protocols of race and gender, she interrogates the advanced illustration of racial passing in a visible medium. Her research of “post-passing” testimonials in postwar African American magazines, which strove to foster black consumerism whereas developing “positive” photographs of black fulfillment and affluence within the postwar years, specializes in ignored texts in the files of black pop culture. ultimately, after a glance at liberal contradictions of John Howard Griffin’s 1961 auto-ethnography Black Like Me, Wald concludes with an epilogue that considers the assumption of passing within the context of the hot discourse of “color blindness.”
Wald’s research of the ethical, political, and theoretical dimensions of racial passing makes Crossing the Line vital analyzing as we method the twenty-first century. Her enticing and dynamic publication may be of specific curiosity to students of yank experiences, African American stories, cultural reviews, and literary criticism.
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As W. E. B. DuBois famously prophesied within the Souls of Black folks, the fiction of the colour line has been of pressing obstacle in defining a undeniable twentieth-century U. S. racial “order. ” but the very arbitrariness of this line additionally provides upward thrust to possibilities for racial “passing,” a tradition wherein topics applicable the phrases of racial discourse.
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Additional info for Crossing the Line: Racial Passing in Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature and Culture (New Americanists)
Crossing the Line: Racial Passing in Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature and Culture (New Americanists) by Gayle Wald
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