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Codes of Conduct: Race, Ethics, and the Color of Our Character

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In Codes of Conduct,  Karla Holloway meditates on the dynamics of race and ethnicity as they are negotiated in the realms of power. Her uniquely insightful and intelligent analysis guides us in a fresh way through Anita Hill’s interrogation, the assault on Tawana Brawley, the mass murders of Atlanta’s children, the schisms between the personal and public domains of her life as a black professor, and––in a moving epilogue––the story of her son’s difficulties growing up as a young black male in contemporary ...

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Rutgers University Press, 03/01/1995, Hardcover, Brand New! New dust jacket.

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Overview

In Codes of Conduct,  Karla Holloway meditates on the dynamics of race and ethnicity as they are negotiated in the realms of power. Her uniquely insightful and intelligent analysis guides us in a fresh way through Anita Hill’s interrogation, the assault on Tawana Brawley, the mass murders of Atlanta’s children, the schisms between the personal and public domains of her life as a black professor, and––in a moving epilogue––the story of her son’s difficulties growing up as a young black male in contemporary society. Its three main sections: “The Body Politic,” “Language, Thought, and Culture,” and “The Moral Lives of Children,” relate these issues to the visual power of the black and female body, the aesthetic resonance and racialized drama of language, and our children’s precarious habits of surviving. Throughout, Holloway questions the consequences in African-American community life of citizenship that is meted out sparingly when one’s ethnicity is colored.

This is a book of a culture’s stories––from literature, public life, contemporary and historical events, aesthetic expression, and popular culture––all located within the common ground of African-American ethnicity. Holloway writes with a passion, urgency, and wit that carry the reader swiftly through each chapter. The book should take its place among those other important contemporary works that speak to the future relationships between whites and blacks in this country.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Despite lapses into academic jargon, Holloway, professor of English and African American literature at Duke, makes worthy connections among literature, politics, ethics and race in three long essays. She finds parallels between Anita Hill's Senate testimony and a public examination by white men of black poet Phyllis Wheatley in colonial times. This leads her to personal reflections on how black women, weary of being relegated to demeaning stereotypes, "turn it out" and angrily challenge white authority figures. She muses on the language of Maya Angelou's poem for the presidential inaugural and that of Spike Lee's films; then she looks at mainstream media outlets' use of black dialect to disparage blacks and the contradictions in the fact that they simultaneously present gangsta rap. A third essay, on the moral lives of children, discursively argues that we must build a better community for the young. Photos.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite lapses into academic jargon, Holloway, professor of English and African American literature at Duke, makes worthy connections among literature, politics, ethics and race in three long essays. She finds parallels between Anita Hill's Senate testimony and a public examination by white men of black poet Phyllis Wheatley in colonial times. This leads her to personal reflections on how black women, weary of being relegated to demeaning stereotypes, ``turn it out'' and angrily challenge white authority figures. She muses on the language of Maya Angelou's poem for the presidential inaugural and that of Spike Lee's films; then she looks at mainstream media outlets' use of black dialect to disparage blacks and the contradictions in the fact that they simultaneously present gangsta rap. A third essay, on the moral lives of children, discursively argues that we must build a better community for the young. Photos. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813521558
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Pages: 240
  • Lexile: 1460L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Common Sense, a Mother Wit: Reflections on Ethics and Ethnicity 1
Eth(n)icity: A Tracery of Cultural Work 5
Standing Close to Feeling 8
Ch. 1 The Body Politic 13
Now We See . . . Face to Face 21
Look at How I Look 36
My Tongue Is in My Friend's Mouth 48
The Long Way Home 64
Ch. 2 Language, Thought, and Culture 73
Race Talk 81
Precious Expression 92
Doing Poetic(s) Justice 104
Lockjaw 123
Word Work 130
Coda 135
Ch. 3 The Moral Lives of Children 137
But for the Grace 148
Just Another Child 156
Spaces of the Spirit 170
Indecent Liberties 179
Departures 186
Epilogue: A Storied Life 191
Notes 197
Index 215
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