The Mulatta and the Politics of Race [NOOK Book]

Overview

From abolition through the years just before the civil rights struggle began, African American women recognized that a mixed-race woman made for a powerful and, at times, very useful figure in the battle for racial justice.

The Mulatta and the Politics of Racetraces many key instances in which black women have wielded the image of a racially mixed woman to assault the color line. In the oratory and fiction of black women from the late 1840s ...

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The Mulatta and the Politics of Race

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Overview

From abolition through the years just before the civil rights struggle began, African American women recognized that a mixed-race woman made for a powerful and, at times, very useful figure in the battle for racial justice.

The Mulatta and the Politics of Racetraces many key instances in which black women have wielded the image of a racially mixed woman to assault the color line. In the oratory and fiction of black women from the late 1840s through the 1950s, Teresa C. Zackodnik finds the mulatta to be a metaphor of increasing potency.

Before the Civil War white female abolitionists created the image of the "tragic mulatta," caught between races, rejected by all. African American women put the mulatta to diverse political use. Black women used the mulatta figure to invoke and manage American and British abolitionist empathy and to contest racial stereotypes of womanhood in the postbellum United States. The mulatta aided writers in critiquing the "New Negro Renaissance" and gave writers leverage to subvert the aims of mid-twentieth-century mainstream American culture.

The Mulatta and the Politics of Race focuses on the antislavery lectures and appearances of Ellen Craft and Sarah Parker Remond, the domestic fiction of Pauline Hopkins and Frances Harper, the Harlem Renaissance novels of Jessie Fauset and Nella Larsen, and the little-known 1950s texts of Dorothy Lee Dickens and Reba Lee. Throughout, the author discovers the especially valuable and as yet unexplored contributions of these black women and their uses of the mulatta in prose and speech.

Teresa C. Zackodnik is a professor of English at the University of Alberta in Canada.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604730579
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 4/9/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Teresa C. Zackodnik is a professor of English at the University of Alberta in Canada.

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Table of Contents

1 Fixing the color line : the mulatta, American courts, and the racial imaginary 3
2 "White slaves" and tragic mulattas : the antislavery appeals of Ellen Craft and Sarah Parker Remond 42
3 Little romances and mulatta heroines : passing for a "true woman" in Frances Harper's Iola Leroy and Pauline Hopkins's Contending forces 75
4 Commodified "blackness" and performative possibilities in Jessie Fauset's The chinaberry tree and Nella Larsen's Quicksand 115
5 Passing transgressions, excess, and authentic identity in Jessie Fauset's Plum bun and Nella Larsen's Passing 156
Epilogue : the "passing out" of passing and the mulatta? 186
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