A literary study of the ambiguities of racial identity in American culture.
Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Roseanne Barr, and Britney Spears typify class-passers - those who claim different socioeconomic classes as their own. The book deconstructs the politics of celebrity, fashion and conspicuous consumerism and analyses class-passing as it relates to the American Dream, gender and marriage.
Focusing on writers such as Phillis Wheatley, Benjamin Franklin, Samson Occum, Charles Brockden Brown, and others, Transformable Race tells the story of how early Americans imagined, contributed to, and challenged the ways that one's racial identity could be formed in the time of the nation's founding.
Explores how the trope of racial passing continues to serve as a touchstone for gauging public beliefs and anxieties about race in this multiracial era. The first volume to focus on the trope of racial passing in novels, memoirs, television, and films published or produced between 1990 and 2010, Passing Interest takes the scholarly conversation on passing into the twenty-first century. With contributors working in the fields of African American studies, American studies, cultural studies, film studies, literature, and media studies, this book offers a rich, interdisciplinary survey of critical approaches to a broad range of contemporary passing texts. Contributors frame recent passing texts with a wide array of cultural discourses, including immigration law, the Post-Soul Aesthetic, contemporary political satire, affirmative action, the paradoxes of colorblindness, and the rhetoric of post-racialism. Many explore whether one drop of blood still governs our sense of racial identity, or to what extent contemporary American culture allows for the racially indeterminate individual. Some essays open the scholarly conversation to focus on ethnic passersindividuals who complicate the traditional black-white binarywhile others explore the slippage between traditional racial passing and related forms of racial performance, including blackface minstrelsy and racial masquerade.
This timely and critical look at the teaching of English shows how language is used to create hierarchies of cultural privilege in public schools across the United States. Drawing on the work of four ESL teachers who pursued anti-racist pedagogical practices during their first year of teaching, the author provides a compelling account of how new teachers might gain agency for culturally responsive teaching in spite of school cultures that often discourage such approaches. She combines current research and original analyses to shed light on real classroom situations faced by teachers of linguistically diverse populations. This book will help pre- and inservice teachers to think about such challenges as differential achievement between language learners and “native-speakers”; hierarchies of languages and language varieties; the difference between an accent identity and an incorrect pronunciation; and the use of students’ first languages in English classes. An important resource for classroom teaching, educational policy, school leadership, and teacher preparation, this volume includes reflection questions at the end of each chapter. “This is an important and timely book. How to best educate new Americans, including the best language policies, is a matter of controversy and dissent. Race, Empire, and English Language Teaching is must reading for teachers and school administrators, policymakers, and concerned citizens who are interested in a deeper understanding of how anti-racist pedagogical practices and culturally responsive teaching can work to engage all students moving forward.” —Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, dean and distinguished professor of education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, co-author of Learning a New Land “Foregrounding teachers’ voices, Motha lucidly conceptualizes ideological facets of teaching English—monolingualism, native speakerism, and standard language—as racialized practices that undergird colonial power and contradict pluricentric understandings of English. Her analysis is intellectually robust, morally engaging, and discursively accessible. This is a must-read for all ESL professionals.” —Ryuko Kubota, professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education, The University of British Columbia Suhanthie Motha is assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Washington, Seattle.
James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) was an American civil rights activist and writer. He led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was the first African-American professor at New York University. As a writer, Johnson was well-known in the Harlem Renaissance for his novels and poems which dealt primarily with black culture. In “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man”, Johnson offers a fictional account of a biracial man living in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who attempts to pass as a white man to ensure his safety and future prospects. Read & Co. Classics is republishing this classic novel now in a new addition complete with the poem “At the Closed Gate of Justice” by James D. Corrothers.
The election of America’s first black president has led many to believe that race is no longer a real obstacle to success and that remaining racial inequality stems largely from the failure of minority groups to take personal responsibility for seeking out opportunities. Often this argument is made in the name of the long tradition of self-reliance and American individualism. In Awakening to Race, Jack Turner upends this view, arguing that it expresses not a deep commitment to the values of individualism, but a narrow understanding of them. Drawing on the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin, Turner offers an original reconstruction of democratic individualism in American thought. All these thinkers, he shows, held that personal responsibility entails a refusal to be complicit in injustice and a duty to combat the conditions and structures that support it. At a time when individualism is invoked as a reason for inaction, Turner makes the individualist tradition the basis of a bold and impassioned case for race consciousness—consciousness of the ways that race continues to constrain opportunity in America. Turner’s “new individualism” becomes the grounds for concerted public action against racial injustice.
A critical introduction to the contemporary American novel focusing on contexts, key texts and criticism.
As the official publication of the Division on Black American Literature and Culture of the Modern Language Association of America, African American review promotes an exchange among writers and scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences who hold diverse perspectives of African American literature and culture.