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Once You Go Black : Choice, Desire and the Black America Intellectual (Paperback)

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"In bold and beautifully crafted close readings, Reid-Pharr challenges many of the structuring absences that have shaped the fields of African-American literary studies, queer studies, and American Studies. His provocative arguments about sexuality, race, and masculinity are unsettling, in the best sense of that word."--Siobhan B. Somerville, University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignRichard Wright. Ralph Ellison. James Baldwin. Literary and cultural critic Robert Reid-Pharr asserts that these and other post-World War II intellectuals announced the very themes of race, gender, and sexuality with which so many contemporary critics are now engaged. While at its most elemental Once You Go Black is an homage to these thinkers, it is at the same time a reconsideration of black Americans as agents, and not simply products, of history. Reid-Pharr contends that our current notions of black American identity are not inevitable, nor have they simply been forced onto the black community. Instead, he argues, black American intellectuals have actively chosen the identity schemes that seem to us so natural today.Turning first to the late and relatively obscure novels of Wright, Ellison, and Baldwin, Reid-Pharr suggests that each of these authors rejects the idea of the black as innocent. Instead they insisted upon the responsibility of all citizens-even the most oppressed-within modern society. Reid-Pharr then examines a number of responses to this presumed erosion of black innocence, paying particular attention to articulations of black masculinity by Huey Newton, one of the two founders of the Black Panther Party, and Melvin Van Peebles, director of the classic film Sweet Sweetback's BaadasssssSong.Shuttling between queer theory, intellectual history, literary close readings, and autobiography, Once You Go Black is an impassioned, eloquent, and elegant call to bring the language of choice into the study of black American literature and culture. At the same time, it represents a hard-headed rejection of the presumed inevitability of what Reid-Pharr names racial desire in the production of either culture or cultural studies.

Specifications

Publisher New York Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780814775844
SKU 203959307
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0814775845
Release Date 7/1/2007
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0184
Publisher New York University Press
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