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The Trouble with Post-Blackness (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 3. Februar 2015

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An excellent collection and a timely intervention in a conversation with important ramifications for scholarship and civic life. There is both breadth and depth in these pieces, and a pleasing and engaging diversity of concerns and writing styles. -- George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness The Trouble with Post-Blackness courageously puts to rest the dangerous, delusory, and fabulous (as in 'fable') claim that we inhabit a post-racial America. Through these critically engaging essays, the concept of 'post-blackness' is indeed troubled, rendered turbid and untenable in an America in which black people continue to face ontological occlusion and existential foreclosure. This text refuses mythopoetic slogans and faddish signifiers, instead ethically grounding us in the temporal now and refusing to mock those black bodies that face an anti-black America that continues to mark them as dangerous, criminal, and existentially nugatory. -- George Yancy, Duquesne University, author of Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race A thoughtful, if not gentle, scholarly refutation of a controversial claim of a post-racial society. Kirkus Reviews This thoughtful, provocative, and only occasionally heavy-going collection of essays... persuasively argues that what Tour calls "being like Barack" really just maintains normative whiteness as an untroubled, unanalyzed construct. Publishers Weekly An excellent collection of essays from impressive minds responding openly to what black identity was, is, and perhaps will be... Anyone with an expressed interest in racial history and identity will enjoy this read. Library Journal

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Houston A. Baker is Distinguished University Professor at Vanderbilt University and a scholar of African American literature and culture. He is a member of the pioneering generation of the 1960s that sought to expand the canons and definitions of the humanities in the academy. He served as director of Afro-American studies and founded and directed the Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania. His book Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era received an American Book Award. K. Merinda Simmons is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Alabama. She is author of Changing the Subject: Writing Women Across the African Diaspora and coeditor, with Maha Marouan, of Race and Displacement: Nation, Migration, and Displacement in the Twenty-first Century. Her areas of research and publication combine literary, religious, and Southern studies, with critical emphases on theories of gender and race.


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Provocative, wide-ranging and readable 29. Januar 2015
Von David Wineberg - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I wanted this book because I cannot get into the mindset of American Blacks, apart from those in my limited geographic circle, and this looked like the way to go. "In the 60s, a more assertive black replaced the conciliatory negro, and fifty years later, black intellectuals are pondering post black" - is the intriguing starting point. The book is a collection of essays by mostly black intellectuals ruminating mostly on Touré and his Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?. They tear him limb from limb, dissecting his ideas, methods, language and even his tweets. He makes a good whipping post for ideas contrary. It is also a weakness because there is far more to being black than Touré, and I would have thought there would be as least as much criticism of the first black president, who only gets his in the last essay and the conclusion. Another weakness is that the essays only represent highly intellectual, academic discourse, often very personal. There are a lot of five dollar words, obscure, unexplained references and a lot of its own prejudice, but that is a vital part of the story.

By far the best essay is The World is a Ghetto by Patrice Rankine. Using Holland, Michigan as its starting point, it traces racism's unending presence through all kinds of direct experience, references to other books and quotations, through hip-hop and The Invisible Man, and to Jamaica and Brazil. It is the most readable and accessible, and deserves reprinting elsewhere. Rankine's scope spans far more than the other authors, while evoking far more imagery, detail, empathy and disappointment. He writes with style and verve. He scores points by getting under your skin rather than pointing a finger in your face.

For reasons unknown to me, I find I have reviewed four such books in the past year. They cover Asian racism in the excellent Yellow Peril!, progress among elite women in The XX Factor, the unending search to define Canadian in Reclaiming Canadian Bodies, and now The Trouble with Post Blackness. Together, they reinforce the idea that all races, creeds, sexes and economic classes discriminate, including (if not especially) through institutional violence, both literal and figurative. It is all ignorant, cruel and counterproductive, but also apparently innate, ingrained and enduring. And while American blacks torture themselves over their ancestry as slaves (completely ignoring it while vacationing at all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica and Ghana according to one essay), the UN says there are now 26 million slaves in the world, a number that increases annually.

"The world is a ghetto. Racial constructions regarding what blackness is and is not, and what whiteness is and is not, can be constricting and, in fact, often constitute racism itself." -Patrice Rankine

David Wineberg
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