|Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-04-10 03:11Z by Steven|
University of Minnesota
Publication Number: AAT 3149283
Jacquetta Elizabeth Amdahl
A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
The insistence upon a racial identity for multiracial blacks that is not singularly African American has been problematic throughout American history. The link between a racial identity that publicly acknowledges one’s ties to the African American community and the private ownership of one’s complete ancestry has been one that has been consistently tenuous for blacks of multiracial heritage. However, the first generation of openly multiracial African American artists have utilized their visibility in popular culture, as well as work they do within it, as spaces in which to forcefully assert this link. By consciously embracing and cultivating both public and private racial identities, they have distinguished themselves from the postracialist and even anti-black sentiments espoused by leaders and scholars within the Multiracial Category Movement (MCM).
This project explores the links between cultural expression, racial formation, and political agency through the investigation of the public lives and artistic expression of multiracial artists born between 1964 and 1970. These individuals were chosen because of their proximity to the Loving v. Virginia decision that overturned anti-miscegenation statutes. They are the first generation of officially recognized multiracial African Americans.
The project further examines the links between gender and race in representations of multiracial African Americans, as well as the history of the mixed race black population, and finally, the rise of the Multiracial Category Movement, and multiracial studies. Through these explorations, the inherently political nature of race is uncovered, and the public nature of racial identity is revealed. Finally, it concludes that the need for a fluid and expanded notion of African American identity, rather than the broadening of the definitions of whiteness, is the necessary answer to questions surrounding multiracial African American identities.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Introduction: From African American to Multiracial? Racial Identity and Public Discourse
- Chapter 1: Reports from the ‘Third Space': The Music and Visual Presence of Mixed Race Artists in Popular Culture
- The Hughes Brothers
- Lenny Kravitz
- Vin Diesel
- Chapter 2:From Tragic Mulatto to Erotically Autonomous Black Woman: Halle Berry’s Journey to Monster’s Ball
- Chapter 3: From Blue Vein Societies to Black Power: The ‘Mulatto Elite’ and the Black/White Binary
- The Beginnings of Separate but Equal
- The New Negro
- The Quest to Solve the ‘American Dilemma’
- Chapter 4: Beyond the Private Realm: The Multiracialist Struggle with Public Racial Identities
- The Multiracial Category Movement (MCM)
- Multiracial Studies
- Critical Scholarship lhat Explores Multiracial Issues
- Epilogue: Still ‘A Family Affair': Implications of a Multiracial African American Identity
Purchase the dissertation here.