Iton, Richard

In Search of the Black Fantastic : Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era

Iton, Richard - In Search of the Black Fantastic : Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era, ebook


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ISBN: 9780199720835
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Prior to the 1960s, when African Americans had little access to formal political power, black popular culture emerged as a tool to forge community and effect political change. However, with the new avenues opened to African Americans in the post-Civil Rights era, many believe the influence of black popular culture on the political sphere began to diminish steadily.
Yet as Richard Iton shows in this uniquely trenchant volume, despite the changes brought about by the Civil Rights movement--and contrary to the wishes of those committed to narrower conceptions of politics--black artists have continued to play a significant role in the making and maintenance of critical social spaces. Here, Iton offers an original portrait of the relationship between popular culture and institutionalized politics, tracing the connections between artists such as Paul Robeson, Lorraine Hansberry, Richard Pryor, Bob Marley, Erykah Badu, and those individuals working in the protest, electoral, and policymaking arenas. With an emphasis on questions of class, gender, and sexuality--and diaspora and coloniality--the author also illustrates how creative artists destabilize modern notions of the proper location of politics, and politics itself.
Ranging from theater to film, and comedy to literature and contemporary music, In Search of the Black Fantastic is an engaging and sophisticated examination of how black popular culture has challenged our understandings of the aesthetic and its relationship to politics.

Keywords: HISTORY / United States / 20th Century HIS036060

Oxford University Press
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