Authentic Blackness – «Real» Blackness explores and explains the idea of authenticity, of «keeping it real,» as it relates to the multi-faceted meanings of blackness in the United States and the world. Including reflections on hip-hop, comedy, literature, intellectual history, and autobiography, the collection gives both a broad overview of and intervenes in the debates concerning blackness. A comprehensive introductory essay outlines the history of the idea of «authentic blackness,» while other chapters examine the contours of blackness in Canada and Jamaica; the relationship between middle-class status and «real» blackness; the link between «blackness» and hip-hop culture; Dave Chappelle’s comedy; and the work of James Baldwin, Countee Cullen, Clarence Major, and John Edgar Wideman as it comments on authenticity in relation to race.
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. VI, 229 pp.
Contents: Martin Japtok/Rafiki Jenkins: What Does It Mean to Be «Really» Black? A Selective History of Authentic Blackness
– Dara N. Byrne/Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The «Defining» Problem of Black Authenticity in Canada: Real Slang and the Grammar
of Cultural Hybridity – David M. Jones: Privileging the Popular at What Price? A Discussion of Joan Morgan, Hip Hop, Feminism,
and Radical Politics – Antonio T. Tiongson Jr.: Claiming Hip Hop: Authenticity Debates, Filipino DJs, and Contemporary U.S.
Racial Formations – Wendy Alexia Rountree: «Faking the Funk»: A Journey Towards Authentic Blackness – Gregory Stephens: Brown
Boy Blues…inna Jamaica – Joy Viveros: Black Authenticity, Racial Drag, and the Case of Dave Chappelle – Jonathan Shandell:
How Black Do You Want It? Countee Cullen and the Contest for Racial Authenticity on Page and Stage – Monika Gehlawat: Peculiar
Irresolution: James Baldwin and Flânerie – Benjamin D. Carson: «Many forces at work»: Clarence Major’s Early Fiction and the
Critique of Racial Economy – Ian Reilly: «Isn’t the whole point of writing to escape what people not me think of me»: The
Failure of Language and the Search for Authenticity in PhiladelphiaFire and God’s Gym.