Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now

Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now


Language: English

Pages: 251

ISBN: 1439177562

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Now in paperback, “one of the most acutely observed accounts of what it is like to be young, Black, and middle-class in contemporary America…told in a distinctive voice that is often humorous…but always intensely engaging” (Orlando Patterson, The New York Times).

In this provocative book, writer and cultural critic Touré explores the concept of Post-Blackness: the ability for someone to be rooted in but not restricted by their race. Drawing on his own experiences and those of 105 luminaries, he argues that racial identity should be understood as fluid, complex, and self-determined.




















attending certain universities, an impressive variety of jobs, a fondness for opera, a white girlfriend, an interest in golf. And of course, any change in the voice. There was a popular school of thought that maintained the voice was at the very heart of the thing; fail to keep it real there and you’d never see your Blackness again. “How absurd that all seems now,” Smith wrote. “And not because we live in a post-racial world. It’s Black people who talk like me, and Black people who talk like Lil

Brady with Denzel Washington’s devilish cop from Training Day. Washington is someone who would sit on the superBlack side of the continuum, and his Detective Alonzo Harris would sit even closer to the end of the line than Washington himself, so Brady is doubly (or triply) linked to the superBlackness Chappelle had denied him. It’s critical Brady is playing himself in the sketch, which should force you to rethink who you think Brady is. Is he merely acting oreo-ish when he’s onstage acting or

going after your piece of the pie in the Affirmative Action era. The place taught me to play tennis and gave me all the Black cultural nutrients I needed. That was where I studied Black culture in impromptu classes about Black cool and the dozens and the Smurf and “Soul Train” and “The Message” and “La Di Da Di.” And my daily movement from the preppy school to the ghetto club did not give me vertigo, it meant that doing rapid cultural 180s became second nature to me and code-switching on a dime

But an underdog status that’s been ascribed major cool points in the world. We’re underfoot but we’re the coolest motherfuckers out at the same time.” At a deep level I think Black men enjoy our power to scare white America and find it fun to use. “Some kids think playing the role of the monster is a profitable game,” says Reggie Hudlin. “So they say, ‘I’m not gonna fight the stereotype, I’m gonna exploit it.’” We’re also rejecting a fear of the white gaze. It seems my generation very much wants

everything you do is being scrutinized even if it’s entirely well intentioned is insanely stressful and by definition screws you up. No one can withstand that kind of scrutiny.” Major Jackson talked about the way race plays out on the sidewalk, among strangers. “I think one of the struggles for many professional Black people is the struggle against, how shall I say it, diminishing their voice and diminishing who they are in the presence of non-Black people. I watched my grandfather, who’s a

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