modulating blackness

The subject of 'Modulating Blackness' is here structured into three different subparts. This partioning tries to respect the diegetic historicities of the literature and films presented.
The overlap of certain themes and notions in the three different sections hopefully underlines their importance in relation to the experience of Blackness.
Enjoy!

[SPOILER ALERT for: Passing - Nella Larsen; Incognegro - Mat Johnson; Friday Black - Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah]

What did it mean for people of color to "pass as white" in the 19th and 20th century?
How does this so-called 'racial passing' make evident that race is nothing more than a social construct?
How did writers process the subject of 'passing' in their work?
And why did Malcom X and Chuck Berry burn their scalps in order to look more white?

Alexis Tsegba_Come as you are.jpg

What does it mean to be Black in the US today? And how is this experience of Blackness intertwined with the historical legacy of difference and its lasting repercussions today?
How does the standard of White Normativity interact with the modulating of Blackness? And which role does the practice of code-switching play in it?
What can the practices of cultural appropriation and assimilation tell us about the power dynamics in US society and how the US interacts with and treats their Black population?
How are all these experiences of Black identity expression reflected in contemporary US media? And what does satire have to do with it?

Oliv Barros Caido & Caido 23.jpg

In what ways are the movie Sorry to Bother You by Boots Riley and the collection of short stories Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah dystopian?
In what ways do the movie Sorry to Bother You and the short stories “Finkelstein 5” and “Zimmer Land” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah show the modulation of blackness?
What other examples of modulating blackness can be found in pop culture?

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The material on this page was compiled, created, and arranged by Mara Jenni, Rahel Leuzinger, and Yasmin Naderi. 

Complete bibliography and list of references.