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By E. Patrick Johnson

Performance artist and pupil E. Patrick Johnson’s provocative research examines how blackness is appropriated and performed—toward commonly divergent ends—both inside and outdoors African American tradition. Appropriating Blackness develops from the competition that blackness within the usa is unavoidably a politicized identity—avowed and disavowed, appealing and repellent, mounted and malleable. Drawing on functionality idea, queer reports, literary research, movie feedback, and ethnographic fieldwork, Johnson describes how diversified 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 quite a few 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 way of Amiri Baraka and Eldridge Cleaver, the vernacular of black homosexual tradition, an oral heritage of his grandmother’s adventure as a household employee within the South, gospel track as played via a white Australian choir, and pedagogy in a functionality reviews school room. by means of exploring the divergent goals and results of those performances—ranging from resisting racism, sexism, and homophobia to except for 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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