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The white negress : literature, minstrelsy and the black-Jewish imaginary

Author: Lori Harrison-Kahan; American Literatures Initiative.
Publisher: New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, 2011.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
During the first half of the twentieth century, American Jews demonstrated a commitment to racial justice as well as an attraction to African American culture. Until now, the debate about whether such black-Jewish encounters thwarted or enabled Jews' claims to white privilege has focused on men and representations of masculinity while ignoring questions of women and femininity. The White Negress investigates  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Harrison-Kahan, Lori.
White Negress : Literature, Minstrelry and the Black-Jewish Imaginary.
New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, ©2011
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Lori Harrison-Kahan; American Literatures Initiative.
ISBN: 9780813549897 0813549892
OCLC Number: 774279017
Notes: "A book in the American Literatures Initiative (ALI)" --Title page verso.
Description: 1 online resource (viii, 229 pages) : illustrations
Contents: From White Negress to Yiddishe mama: Sophie Tucker and the female blackface tradition --
The same Show Boat: Edna Ferber's interracial ideal --
Limitations of white: Fannie Hurst and the consumption of blackness --
Minstrel of the mountain: Zora Neale Hurston and the black-Jewish imaginary.
Responsibility: Lori Harrison-Kahn.

Abstract:

During the first half of the twentieth century, American Jews demonstrated a commitment to racial justice as well as an attraction to African American culture. Until now, the debate about whether such black-Jewish encounters thwarted or enabled Jews' claims to white privilege has focused on men and representations of masculinity while ignoring questions of women and femininity. The White Negress investigates literary and cultural texts by Jewish and African American women, opening new avenues of inquiry that yield more complex stories about Jewishness, African American identity, and the meanings of whiteness.Lori Harrison-Kahan examines writings by Edna Ferber, Fannie Hurst, and Zora Neale Hurston, as well as the blackface performances of vaudevillian Sophie Tucker and controversies over the musical and film adaptations of Show Boat and Imitation of Life. Moving between literature and popular culture, she illuminates how the dynamics of interethnic exchange have at once produced and undermined the binary of black and white.

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"Skillfully demonstrates how Jewish American women writers employ images of blackness to undermine the division between 'white' and 'black' identity. The figure of the 'White Negress' thus becomes Read more...

 
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