Dark Designs and Visual Culture

Dark Designs and Visual Culture

by Michele Wallace
     
 


Michele Wallace burst into public consciousness with the 1979 publication of Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman, a pioneering critique of the misogyny of the Black Power movement and the effects of racism and sexism on black women. Since then, Wallace has produced an extraordinary body of journalism and criticism engaging with popular culture andSee more details below

Overview


Michele Wallace burst into public consciousness with the 1979 publication of Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman, a pioneering critique of the misogyny of the Black Power movement and the effects of racism and sexism on black women. Since then, Wallace has produced an extraordinary body of journalism and criticism engaging with popular culture and gender and racial politics. This collection brings together more than fifty of the articles she has written over the past fifteen years. Included alongside many of her best-known pieces are previously unpublished essays as well as interviews conducted with Wallace about her work. Dark Designs and Visual Culture charts the development of a singular, pathbreaking black feminist consciousness.

Beginning with a new introduction in which Wallace reflects on her life and career, this volume includes other autobiographical essays; articles focused on popular culture, the arts, and literary theory; and explorations of issues in black visual culture. Wallace discusses growing up in Harlem; how she dealt with the media attention and criticism she received for Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman, which was published when she was just twenty-seven years old; and her relationship with her family, especially her mother, the well-known artist Faith Ringgold. The many articles devoted to black visual culture range from the historical tragedy of the Hottentot Venus, an African woman displayed as a curiosity in nineteenth-century Europe, to films that sexualize the black body—such as Watermelon Woman, Gone with the Wind, and Paris Is Burning. Whether writing about the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings, rap music, the Million Man March, Toshi Reagon, multiculturalism, Marlon Riggs, or a nativity play in Bedford Stuyvesant, Wallace is a bold, incisive critic. Dark Designs and Visual Culture brings the scope of her career and thought into sharp focus.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822334279
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Pages:
528
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Michele Wallace is Visiting Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University. She is the author of Invisibility Blues: From Pop to Theory and Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman. She has written for numerous popular and scholarly publications, including The Village Voice, The New York Times, Emerge, Aperture, Ms., October, and Renaissance Noire.

Table of Contents

Pt. IThe autobiographical : 1989 through 2001
1Whose Town? Questioning community and identity81
2Places I've lived85
3Engaging and escaping in 199488
4To hell and back : on the road with black feminism in the '60s and '70s95
5Censorship and self-censorship111
6An interview114
Pt. IIMass culture and popular journalism
7Watching arsenio127
8Black stereotypes in Hollywood films : "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies!"130
9When black feminism faces the music, and the music is rap134
10Storytellers : the Thomas-Hill affair138
11Talking about the Gulf141
12Beyond assimilation144
13"Why women won't relate to 'justice'" : losing her voice147
14For whom the bell tolls : why Americans can't deal with black feminist intellectuals149
15Miracle in East New York161
Pt. IIINew York postmodernism and slack cultural studies
16The politics of location : cinema/theory/literature/ethnicity/sexuality/me167
17Black feminist criticism : a politics of location and Beloved179
18Why are there no great black artists? : the problem of visuality in African American culture184
19High mass195
20Symposium on political correctness197
21The culture war within the culture wars202
22Boyz N the hood and Jungle fever215
Pt. IVMulticulturalism in the arts
23Race, gender, and psychoanalysis in Forties films223
24Multicultural blues : an interview with Michele Wallace238
25Multiculturalism and oppositionality249
26Black women in popular culture : from stereotype to heroine264
27The search for the good enough mammy : multiculturalism, popular culture, and psychoanalysis275
Pt. VHenry Louis Gates and African American poststructuralism
28Henry Louis Gates : a race man and a scholar289
29If you can't join 'em, beat 'em : Stanley Crouch and Shaharazad Ali297
30Let's get serious : marching with the million309
31Out of step with the million man March311
32Neither fish nor fowl : the crisis of African American gender relations314
33The problem with black masculinity and celebrity318
34The fame game324
35Skip Gates's Africa328
Pt. VIQueer theory and visual culture
36Defacing history339
37When dream girls grow old353
38The French collection357
39Modernism, postmodernism, and the problem of the visual in Afro-American culture364
40A Fierce flame : Marlon Riggs379
41"Harlem on my mind"382
42Questions on feminism386
43Feminism, race, and the division of labor390
44Doin' the right thing : ten years after She's gotta have it401
45The gap alternative410
46Art on my mind417
47Pictures can lie422
48The Hottentot Venus426
49Angels in America, Paris is burning, and queer theory430
50Toshi Reagon's birthday454
51Cheryl Dunye : sexin' the watermelon457
52The prison house of culture : why African art? Why the Guggenheim? Why now?460
53Black female spectatorship474
54Bamboozled : the archive486

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