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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 “Sex Factor” and Twenty-First-Century Stagings of Miscegenation

The “Sex Factor” and Twenty-First-Century Stagings of Miscegenation

(p.229) Conclusion The “Sex Factor” and Twenty-First-Century Stagings of Miscegenation
Imperfect Unions

Diana Rebekkah Paulin

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses the issue of interracial unions and suggests that the simultaneous threat and possibility the idea poses remain central to explorations of race in America in the twenty-first century. James Weldon Johnson reminds us that our cultural obsession with sex—talking about it, prohibiting it, circumventing it, exhibiting it—is what drives the nation’s passionate cultural preoccupation with miscegenation. He goes on to suggest that “the sex factor” is the root—and, this book also argues, the route—that must be explored and excavated in order to uncover the complex understanding and function of polarized racial boundaries and conflict. By reconfiguring the trope of miscegenation as a rehearsal of the complex intersection of race, nation, gender, sexuality, and class, it is possible to critical opportunities to traverse new territories rather than merely transgress binarized boundaries.

Keywords:   interracial unions, race, America, James Weldon Johnson, sex, miscegenation, sex factor, racial boundaries, gender, sexuality

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