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The battle before "The Souls of Black Folk": Black performance in the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.

Author: Amma Y Ghartey-Tagoe; Awam Amkpa; Jennifer L Morgan; Tavia Nyong'o; Diana Taylor
Publisher: 2009.
Dissertation: Ph. D. New York University 2009
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Publication:Dissertation Abstracts International, 70-12A.
Summary:
African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois not only formulated his central theories concerning the predicament of black identity at the turn of the twentieth century in writing, he also exhibited them through a museum-style display called the American Negro Exhibit. In this dissertation, I argue that his display, which was featured at the Paris world's fair in 1900 and made its American debut at Buffalo's Pan-American  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Dissertations, Academic
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Ghartey-Tagoe, Amma Y.
Battle Before Souls Of Black Folk : Black Performance In 1901 Pan-American Exposition.
New York : ProQuest NYU, ©2010
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Amma Y Ghartey-Tagoe; Awam Amkpa; Jennifer L Morgan; Tavia Nyong'o; Diana Taylor
ISBN: 9781109505078 1109505078
OCLC Number: 670309211
Description: 1 online resource (416 pages)
More information:

Abstract:

African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois not only formulated his central theories concerning the predicament of black identity at the turn of the twentieth century in writing, he also exhibited them through a museum-style display called the American Negro Exhibit. In this dissertation, I argue that his display, which was featured at the Paris world's fair in 1900 and made its American debut at Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition (PAX) in 1901, performed central ideas in The Souls of Black Folk, two years before his definitive text was published. Operating at the intersection of performance studies, visual culture studies, and African American history, I analyze this exhibit and two other performances at PAX---Darkest Africa and Old Plantation---to demonstrate how Du Boisian concepts such as double-consciousness, the Veil, two-ness, and the Talented Tenth were literally performed in the early twentieth century world that Du Bois describes. The dissertation further demonstrates that these displays mediated perceptions not only of and within the African American population, but also between Africans and African Americans. As a comparative reading of Souls and these three performances at the Pan-Am Exposition, the dissertation demonstrates that Du Bois's most salient theories on African American identity were not just written metaphors as contemporary scholars have often lauded, but that they were also performed realities perhaps better understood in the context of a world's fair.

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