Transcending Blackness From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial
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Description: Representations of multiracial Americans, especially those with one black and one white parent, appear everywhere in contemporary culture, from reality shows to presidential politics. Some depict multiracial individuals as being mired in painful confusion; others equate them with progress, as the embodiment of a postracial utopia. InTranscending Blackness, Ralina L. Joseph critiques both depictions as being rooted in—and still defined by—the racist notion that Blackness is a deficit that must be overcome.Analyzing emblematic representations of multiracial figures in popular culture—Jennifer Beals's character in theThe L Word; the protagonist in Danny Senza's novel, Caucasia; the title character in the independent film,Mixing Nia; and contestants in a controversial episode of the reality show,America's Next Top Model, who had to "switch ethnicities" for a photo shoot—Joseph identifies the persistance of two widespread stereotypes about mixed-race African Americans: "new millennium mulattas" and "exceptional multiracials." The former inscribes the multiracial African American as a tragic figure whose Blackness predestines them for misfortune; the latter rewards mixed-race African Americans with success for erasing their Blackness. Addressing questions of authenticity, sexuality, and privilege,Transcending Blacknessrefutes that idea that in American society, race no longer matters.
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Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 11/16/2012
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
|Preface: From Biracial to Multiracial to Mixed-Race to Critical Mixed-Race Studies|
|Introduction: Reading Mixed-Race African American Representations in the New Millennium|
|The New Millennium Mulatta|
|Televising the Bad Race Girl: Jennifer Beals on The L Word, the Race Card, and the Punishment of Mixed-Race Blackness|
|The Sad Race Girl: Passing and the New Millennium Mulatta in Danzy Senna's Caucasia|
|The Exceptional Multiracial|
|Transitioning to the Exceptional Multiracial: Escaping Tragedy through Black Transcendence in Mixing Nia|
|Recursive Racial Transformation: Selling the Exceptional Multiracial on America's Next Top Model|
|Conclusion: Racist Jokes and the Exceptional Multiracial, or Why Transcending Blackness Is a Terrible Proposition|