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From the breakout author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé comes a profound and deceptively funny exploration of Black American womanhood. '2019 justly belongs to Morgan Parker. Her poems shred me with their intelligence, dark humor and black-hearted vision. Parker is one of this generation's best minds' Danez Smith, winner of the Forward Prize 'A riveting testimony to everyday blackness . . . It is wry and atmospheric, an epic work of aural pleasures and personifications that demands to be read - both as an account of a private life and as searing political protest' TIME Magazine Magical Negro is an archive of Black everydayness, a catalogue of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms and customs. These poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma and objectification, while exploring tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of Black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics - of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience. In Magical Negro, Morgan Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present - timeless Black melancholies and triumphs.
Gabriel Green's first chapbook The Magical Negro Reveals His Secret is, among other things, a long quest towards complete selfhood.
Utilizing each chapter to present core topical and timely examples, Pop Culture Freaks highlights the tension between inclusion and individuality that lies beneath mass media and commercial culture, using this tension as a point of entry to an otherwise expansive topic. He systematically considers several dimensions of identity—race, class, gender, sexuality, disability—to provide a broad overview of the field that encompasses classical and contemporary theory, original data, topical and timely examples, and a strong pedagogical focus on methods. Pop Culture Freaks encourages students to develop further research questions and projects from the material. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are brought to bear in Kidd's examination of the labor force for cultural production, the representations of identity in cultural objects, and the surprising differences in how various audiences consume and use mass culture in their everyday lives. This new, revised edition includes update examples and date to reflect a constantly changing pop culture landscape.
Why do race relations appear to be getting worse instead of better since the election and reelection of the country's first black president? David Ikard speaks directly to us, in the first person, as a professor and father and also as self-described working-class country boy from a small town in North Carolina, His lively account teems with anecdotes--from gritty to elegant, sometimes scary, sometimes funny, sometimes endearing--that show how parasitically white identity is bound up with black identity in America. Ikard thinks critically about the emotional tenacity, political utility, and bankability of willful white blindness in the 21st century. A key to his analytic reflections on race highlights the three tropes of white supremacy which help to perpetuate willful white blindness, tropes that remain alive and well today as cultural buffers which afford whites the luxury of ignoring their racial privilege and the cost that blacks incur as a result of them. The tropes are: lovable racists, magical negroes, and white messiahs. Ikard is definitely reformist: teachers, parents, students, professors can use such tropes to resist the social and psychological dangers presented by seemingly neutral terms and values which in fact wield white normative power. The lovable racist trope encourages whites to see racism as a minor character flaw (Ikard includes commentary on the "good" slaveowner, William Ford, in Twelve Years a Slave, and offers up examples of the veneer of lovability that attaches to xenophobic, racist presidential candidate Donald Trump). The white messiah trope serves to conflate whiteness with goodness, godliness, and other virtues (extended discussion of Santa Claus or Bill Clinton makes for fun reading, as does Ikard's teasing out of messiah patterns in movie scripts like The Green Mile and Avatar). The magical negro trope situates blacks as mascots or surrogates for affirmations of white humanity (Uncle Tom and Nigger Jim are just two examples, and President Obama employed the trope with subtlety in both of his campaigns). In general, this book investigates the tenacity and cultural capital of white redemption narratives in literature and popular media from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin to Kathryn Stockett's best-selling book (and movie blockbuster), The Help.
Django Unchained is certainly Quentin Tarantino's most commercially-successful film and is arguably also his most controversial. Fellow director Spike Lee has denounced the representation of race and slavery in the film, while many African American writers have defended the white auteur. The use of extremely graphic violence in the film, even by Tarantino's standards, at a time when gun control is being hotly debated, has sparked further controversy and has led to angry outbursts by the director himself. Moreover, Django Unchained has become a popular culture phenomenon, with t-shirts, highly contentious action figures, posters, and strong DVD/BluRay sales. The topic (slavery and revenge), the setting (a few years before the Civil War), the intentionally provocative generic roots (Spaghetti Western and Blaxploitation) and the many intertexts and references (to German and French culture) demand a thorough examination. Befitting such a complex film, the essays collected here represent a diverse group of scholars who examine Django Unchained from many perspectives.
Barack Obama is widely considered one of the most powerful and charismatic speakers of our age. Without missing a beat, he often moves between Washington insider talk and culturally Black ways of speaking--as shown in a famous YouTube clip, where Obama declined the change offered to him by a Black cashier in a Washington, D.C. restaurant with the phrase, "Nah, we straight." In Articulate While Black, two renowned scholars of Black Language address language and racial politics in the U.S. through an insightful examination of President Barack Obama's language use--and America's response to it. In this eloquently written and powerfully argued book, H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman provide new insights about President Obama and the relationship between language and race in contemporary society. Throughout, they analyze several racially loaded, cultural-linguistic controversies involving the President--from his use of Black Language and his "articulateness" to his "Race Speech," the so-called "fist-bump," and his relationship to Hip Hop Culture. Using their analysis of Barack Obama as a point of departure, Alim and Smitherman reveal how major debates about language, race, and educational inequality erupt into moments of racial crisis in America. In challenging American ideas about language, race, education, and power, they help take the national dialogue on race to the next level. In much the same way that Cornel West revealed nearly two decades ago that "race matters," Alim and Smitherman in this groundbreaking book show how deeply "language matters" to the national conversation on race--and in our daily lives.
A short memoir in three parts. HISTORY is about the author and some characters he has known (a transvestite, an entrepreneur, a rocket scientist, a beatnik, a martial artist, a movie star, and a fool, to name a few). These stories, taking place from 1945 to 1961, are generally true. PRE-HISTORY is about the author's parents and grandparents. Occurring before 1945, these stories are generally not true, or are at least imagined. It is through these tales that the author tries to figure out what made his folks the way they were (and explain how he got to be such a pidawee). DEATH is about the passing of the author's mother in 1955 in Shelby, North Carolina (at the Center of the Known Universe - where all explanations come together). Although not explicitly about the South, it is a Southern Book. It's got crazy white people, Magical Negroes, muscadine grapes, livermush, dynamite, undertones of violence, and guns - lots of guns.

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