The Mulatta and the Politics of Race

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2004 - 235 Seiten

From abolition through the years just before the civil rights struggle began, African American women recognized that a mixed-race woman made for a powerful and, at times, very useful figure in the battle for racial justice.

The Mulatta and the Politics of Race traces many key instances in which black women have wielded the image of a racially mixed woman to assault the color line. In the oratory and fiction of black women from the late 1840s through the 1950s, Teresa C. Zackodnik finds the mulatta to be a metaphor of increasing potency.

Before the Civil War white female abolitionists created the image of the "tragic mulatta," caught between races, rejected by all. African American women put the mulatta to diverse political use. Black women used the mulatta figure to invoke and manage American and British abolitionist empathy and to contest racial stereotypes of womanhood in the postbellum United States. The mulatta aided writers in critiquing the "New Negro Renaissance" and gave writers leverage to subvert the aims of mid-twentieth-century mainstream American culture.

The Mulatta and the Politics of Race focuses on the antislavery lectures and appearances of Ellen Craft and Sarah Parker Remond, the domestic fiction of Pauline Hopkins and Frances Harper, the Harlem Renaissance novels of Jessie Fauset and Nella Larsen, and the little-known 1950s texts of Dorothy Lee Dickens and Reba Lee. Throughout, the author discovers the especially valuable and as yet unexplored contributions of these black women and their uses of the mulatta in prose and speech.

 

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Ausgewählte Seiten

Inhalt

Fixing the Color Line The Mulatta American Courts and the Racial Imaginary
3
White Slaves and Tragic Mulattas The Antislavery Appeals of Ellen Craft and Sarah Parker Remand
42
Little Romances and Mulatta Heroines Passing for a True Woman in Frances Harpers Iola Leroy and Pauline Hopkinss Contending Forces
75
Commodified Blackness and Performative Possibilities in Jessie Fausets The Chinaberry Tree and Nella Larsens Quicksand
115
Passing Transgressions Excess and Authentic Identity in Jessie Fausets Plum Bun and Nella Larsens Passing
156
The Passing Out of Passing and the Mulatta?
186
Notes
199
Works Cited
217
Index
229
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Über den Autor (2004)

Teresa C. Zackodnik is a professor of English at the University of Alberta in Canada.

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