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Imperfect UnionsStaging Miscegenation in U.S. Drama and Fiction$
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Diana Rebekkah Paulin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670987

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670987.001.0001

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The Futurity of Miscegenation

The Futurity of Miscegenation

(p.187) Chapter 5 The Futurity of Miscegenation
Imperfect Unions

Diana Rebekkah Paulin

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores how Pauline Hopkins and James Weldon Johnson staged the transnational and diasporic contours of miscegenation through their works: Of One Blood, or the Hidden Self and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, respectively. Through their creative reconceptualizations of the black-white binary, Hopkins and Johnson emphasized the elasticity of the definitions used to organize and understand the messy intersections of race, nation, gender, and class. They embraced the hybridization of the black population and of other non-Anglo and multiracial communities; their work illuminated the representational potential of interracial mixing, as well as the national and global implications that were so often subsumed by the overriding black-white divide. At the same time, however, Hopkins and Johnson employed radical stagings of miscegenation to promote and legitimize the visible and palpable presence of a diverse black population and to document the vital historical and contemporaneous societal contributions of the black diaspora.

Keywords:   miscegenation, Pauline Hopkins, James Weldon Johnson, black-white binary, race, interracial mixing, black diaspora

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