Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Erica R. Edwards

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675456

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675456.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

“Cyanide in the Kool-Aid”

“Cyanide in the Kool-Aid”

Black Politics and Popular Cultureafter Civil Rights

(p.135) Chapter 5 “Cyanide in the Kool-Aid”
Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership

Erica R. Edwards

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents how curiosity, manifested in particular through parody, weds the conceptual work of contesting charisma to the playful questioning embedded in the formal workings of African American humor. At the turn of the twenty-first century, American popular culture witnessed an explosion of millennial refashionings of spectacular black political leadership, even as postmodern black fiction and film contested the scenario of charismatic black political leadership as the primal and primary mode of political belonging and performance in the post-civil rights black cultural repertoire. The chapter examines Paul Beatty’s novel The White Boy Shuffle and the film Barbershop as revisionist counterstories, whose characters embrace an intuitive way of seeing that grapples with those “phantom subjects” of civil rights protest. These subjects are both the leaders they lack and the players in the drama of black political history that the leadership spectacle necessarily pushes out of sight.

Keywords:   Paul Beatty, The White Boy Shuffle, Barbershop, revisionist counterstories, civil rights protest, black political history, African American humor, American popular culture, charismatic black political leadership

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.