Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity

  title={Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity},
  author={E. Patrick Johnson},
Performance artist and scholar E. Patrick Johnson's provocative study examines the various ways that blackness is appropriated and performed - toward widely divergent ends - both within and outside African American culture. Appropriating Blackness develops from the contention that blackness in the United States is necessarily a politicized identity trope - avowed and disavowed, attractive and repellant, fixed and malleable. Drawing on performance theory, queer studies, literary analysis, film… 

Beyoncé’s Slay Trick: The Performance of Black Camp and its Intersectional Politics

Abstract This article pays attention to African-American artist Beyonce Knowles and her performance of black camp. Beyonce’s stage persona and performances invite multiple ideological readings as to

“Black Like Me”: Reframing Blackness for Decolonial Politics

From a particular vantage point, as an African-born scholar with a politics to affirm my Black subjectivity and Indigeneity in a diasporic context, my article engages a (re)theorization of Blackness

Towards a [Re]Theorization of Blackness, Anti-Blackness, and Black Solidarities

This chapter uses a decolonizing framework and re-theorizes anti-Blackness and Blackness by highlighting previous existing literature and scholarship. I am interested in examining how other scholars

Towards a Poetics of Bafflement: The Politics of Elsewhere in Contemporary Black Diaspora Visual Practice (1990?Present)

Towards a Poetics of Bafflement asserts that blackness baffles—confuses and frustrates—the order of knowledge that deems black subjectivities as pathological. This dissertation argues for the

Staging Civil Rights: African American Literature, Performance, and innovation

This dissertation examines the relationship between African American literature and performance during the modern Civil Rights Movement. It traces the ways in which the movement was acted out on the

Imagined Voodoo: Terror, Sex, and Racism in American Popular Culture

I analyze the historical and cultural processes by which American racism is reproduced, approaching the issue through the lens of “imagined voodoo” (as distinct from Haitian Vodou). I posit that the

The Identity Joke: Race, Rap, Performance in CB4

Since their birth in the 1970s, hip-hop music and culture have repeatedly been framed as black cultural forms that give "urban" youth a voice in American society to speak the truth of their lived

Cultivating Black Lesbian Shamelessness: Alice Walker's The Color Purple

This article reads Alice Walker's 1982 novel The Color Purple as a response to the politics of black pride that informed African American writing of the 1960s and 1970s. The Color Purple suggests

Black Authenticity: Defining the Ideals and Expectations in the Construction of “Real” Blackness

This review presents an overview of research on Black authenticity. As the definition of Black authenticity is often not made explicit in literature, the complexity and nuance of this cultural

A Good Black Manhood is Hard to Find: Toward More Transgressive Reading Practices

The adage, “a good black man is hard to find,” has been a common refrain in black cultural communities for decades. Using this common saying as a departure point, this essay turns to a similar