By Shelly Eversley
During this e-book, Shelly Eversley historicizes the call for for racial authenticity - what Zora Neale Hurston referred to as 'the genuine Negro' - in twentieth-century American literature. Eversley argues that the trendy emergence of the curiosity in 'the genuine Negro' transforms the query of what race an writer belongs right into a query of what it takes to belong to that race. therefore, Paul Laurence Dunbar's Negro dialect poems have been prized within the first a part of the century simply because - written via a black guy - they weren't 'imitation' black, whereas the dialect performances by means of Zora Neale Hurston have been celebrated simply because, written by means of a 'real' black, they weren't 'imitation' white. the second one 1/2 the century, in its dismissal of fabric segregation, sanctions a suggestion of black racial which means as inner and mental and therefore promotes a model of black racial 'truth' as invisible and inside, but fastened inside of a reliable perception of distinction. the genuine Negro foregrounds how investments in black racial specificity light up the dynamic phrases that outline what makes a textual content and someone 'black', whereas it additionally finds how 'blackness', spoken and real, guards a extra fragile, simply because unstated, dedication to the purity and primacy of 'whiteness' as a good, uncontested perfect.
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