Authentic Blackness: The Folk in the New Negro Renaissance
What constitutes “blackness” in American culture? And who gets to define whether or not someone is truly African American? Is a struggling hip-hop artist more “authentic” than a conservative Supreme Court justice? In Authentic Blackness J. Martin Favor looks to the New Negro Movement—also known as the Harlem Renaissance—to explore early challenges to the idea that race is a static category.
Authentic Blackness looks at the place of the “folk”—those African Americans “furthest down,” in the words of Alain Locke—and how the representation of the folk and the black middle class both spurred the New Negro Movement and became one of its most serious points of contention. Drawing on vernacular theories of African American literature from such figures as Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Houston Baker as well as theorists Judith Butler and Stuart Hall, Favor looks closely at the work of four Harlem Renaissance fiction writers: James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, George Schuyler, and Jean Toomer. Arguing that each of these writers had, at best, an ambiguous relationship to African American folk culture, Favor demonstrates how they each sought to redress the notion of a fixed black identity. Authentic Blackness illustrates how “race” has functioned as a type of performative discourse, a subjectivity that simultaneously builds and conceals its connections with such factors as class, gender, sexuality, and geography.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
African Ameri African American culture African American identity African American literature African American subject Afro-American Alain Locke American subject positions artistic assertion attempts authentic black becomes Berzon birthright black and white black bourgeoisie black identity bourgeois bourgeoisie Cane Carby color as culture complex concept construction critical critique Crookman's desire discourse of black discourse of identity discourse of race DuBois Ex-Colored feminine gender geography George Schuyler Harlem Renaissance hegemony Helga Crane Henry Louis Gates Huggins iden inauthentic insistence intraracial difference James Weldon James Weldon Johnson Jean Toomer Johnson Johnson's narrator Kabnis Larsen Louis Gates Jr marker Max/Matt miscegenation mulatto narrator's Negro Nella Larsen northern notions of black notions of race notions of racial novel performance poem political possible question Quicksand race race consciousness racial authenticity racial identity racialist racism Reconstructing Schuyler sense sexuality significant simply social South specific suggests tion tity tradition urban woman writes York