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By E. Patrick Johnson

Performance artist and student E. Patrick Johnson’s provocative examine examines how blackness is appropriated and performed—toward commonly divergent ends—both inside and outdoors African American tradition. Appropriating Blackness develops from the rivalry that blackness within the usa is unavoidably a politicized identity—avowed and disavowed, beautiful and repellent, fastened and malleable. Drawing on functionality thought, queer stories, literary research, movie feedback, and ethnographic fieldwork, Johnson describes how assorted constituencies again and again attempt to prescribe the limits of "authentic" blackness and the way functionality highlights the futility of such enterprises.

Johnson seems at a variety of websites of played blackness, together with Marlon Riggs’s influential documentary Black Is . . . Black Ain’t and comedic workouts by means of Eddie Murphy, David Alan Grier, and Damon Wayans. He analyzes nationalist writings by means of Amiri Baraka and Eldridge Cleaver, the vernacular of black homosexual tradition, an oral heritage of his grandmother’s event as a family employee within the South, gospel track as played through a white Australian choir, and pedagogy in a functionality reviews lecture room. via exploring the divergent goals and results of those performances—ranging from resisting racism, sexism, and homophobia to with the exception of sexual dissidents from the black community—Johnson deftly analyzes the a number of significations of blackness and their myriad political implications. His reflexive account considers his personal complicity, as ethnographer and instructor, in authenticating narratives of blackness.

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Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity by E. Patrick Johnson


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