The Real Negro: The Question of Authenticity in Twentieth-Century African American Literature Eversley Shelly

ISBN: 9786610164837

Published: November 30th 2003

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The Real Negro: The Question of Authenticity in Twentieth-Century African American Literature  by  Eversley Shelly

The Real Negro: The Question of Authenticity in Twentieth-Century African American Literature by Eversley Shelly
November 30th 2003 | ebook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | | ISBN: 9786610164837 | 4.64 Mb

In this book, Shelly Eversley historicizes the demand for racial authenticity - what Zora Neale Hurston called the real Negro - in twentieth-century American literature. Eversley argues that the modern emergence of the interest in the real Negro transforms the question of what race an author belongs into a question of what it takes to belong to that race. Consequently, Paul Laurence Dunbars Negro dialect poems were prized in the first part of the century because - written by a black man - they were not imitation black, while the dialect performances by Zora Neale Hurston were celebrated because, written by a real black, they were not imitation white.

The second half of the century, in its dismissal of material segregation, sanctions a notion of black racial meaning as internal and psychological and thus promotes a version of black racial truth as invisible and interior, yet fixed within a stable conception of difference.- The Real Negro foregrounds how investments in black racial specificity illuminate the dynamic terms that define what makes a text and a person black, while it also reveals how blackness, spoken and authentic, guards a more fragile, because unspoken, commitment to the purity and primacy of whiteness as a stable, uncontested ideal.



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