Crossing B(l)ack

Crossing B(l)ack

Mixed-race Identity in Modern American Fiction and Culture

eBook - 2013
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The past two decades have seen a growing influx of biracial discourse in fiction, memoir, and theory, and since the 2008 election of Barack Obama to the presidency, debates over whether America has entered a “ post-racial” phase have set the media abuzz. In this penetrating and provocative study, Sika A. Dagbovie-Mullins adds a new dimension to this dialogue as she investigates the ways in which various mixed-race writers and public figures have redefined both “ blackness” and “ whiteness” by invoking multiple racial identities. Focusing on several key novels— Nella Larsen’ s Quicksand (1928), Lucinda Roy’ s Lady Moses (1998), and Danzy Senna’ s Caucasia (1998)— as well as memoirs by Obama, James McBride, and Rebecca Walker and the personae of singer Mariah Carey and actress Halle Berry, Dagbovie-Mullins challenges conventional claims about biracial identification with a concept she calls “ black-sentient mixed-race identity.” Whereas some multiracial organizations can diminish blackness by, for example, championing the inclusion of multiple-race options on census forms and similar documents, a black-sentient consciousness stresses a perception rooted in blackness— “ a connection to a black consciousness, ” writes the author, “ that does not overdetermine but still plays a large role in one’ s racial identification.” By examining the nuances of this concept through close readings of fiction, memoir, and the public images of mixed-race celebrities, Dagbovie-Mullins demonstrates how a “ black-sentient mixed-race identity reconciles the widening separation between black/white mixed race and blackness that has been encouraged by contemporary mixed-race politics and popular culture.” A book that promises to spark new debate and thoughtful reconsiderations of an especially timely topic, Crossing B(l)ack recognizes and investigates assertions of a black-centered mixed-race identity that does not divorce a premodern racial identity from a postmodern racial fluidity. SIKA A. DAGBOVIE-MULLINS is associate professor in the Department of English at Florida Atlantic University. Her articles have appeared in African American Review, the Journal of Popular Culture, and other publications.
Publisher: Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, c2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781572339774
1572339772
1572339322
9781572339323
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 171 p.)

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