Sag Harbor & The Post-Black Rhetoric

I’ve been hearing a lot about Sag Harbor: A Novel by Colson Whitehead and the Post-black movement. I bought the book and have all these thoughts churning in my head.

In the NY Times review of the book, TOURÉ, refers to both Obama and the “Colsonesque 15-year-old Benji,” who is the protaganist of the book, as post-Black.

The ideology of post-black refers to being black and yet dispelling the notions of race, labels and stereotypes or negative associations.

The idea is intriguing. I mean how many of us have heard “you don’t seem [insert race, ethnicity here]” or “I would’ve never guessed you were [x,y,z]?”

It’s rather hard for society, it seems to embrace the dichotomy of those who exist in both realms; like Obama, Tiger Woods, Oprah, or Sonia Sotomayor.

Yet at BEA, Cornel West spoke against embracing the idea of living in a post-Black era. Racism continues to exist he argues while others note that post-black within itself is a parodox, both a “hollow social construction and a reality with an indispensable history.”

* Image: from Freedom: A fable – A Curious Interpretation of the Wit of a Negress in Troubled Times by Kara Elizabeth Walker


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