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- DescriptionIn Your Average Nigga , Vershawn Ashanti Young uses his own experiences to examine how black masculinity is shaped by identity performances of racial authenticity, academic literacy, class mobility, and sexuality. Moving between autobiography, autoethgraphy, and scholarly analysis, Young critiques proponents of code-switching whose solution to the black literacy gap requires inner-city youth to adopt white English vernacular at school and to reserve black English vernacular for home. Your Average Nigga exposes the factors that make black racial identity incompatible with literacy for blacks, especially black males. Drawing on scholarship in both performance theory and African American literary and cultural studies, Young argues that exaggerated perceptions of the gap between black and white linguistic performances harm inner-city blacks by requiring them to choose between abandoning their customary ways of speaking and behaving at the risk of alienating themselves from their families and communities and retaining their speech and behavior as a marker of racial authenticity while isolating themselves from mainstream society. Young also shows that exaggerated perceptions of the gap between black and white racial identities leave blacks in the impossible position of either trying to be white or forever struggling to prove that they are black eugh. For men, this also becomes an endless struggle to prove that they are masculine eugh. Ultimately, Young argues that far from denaturalizing supposedly fixed identity categories, as many theorists have contended, racial performance only reinscribes the essentialism that it is believed to subvert. Scholars and teachers of rhetoric, performance studies, and African American studies will enjoy this insightful volume.
- Author BiographyVershawn Ashanti Young is assistant professor of rhetoric and African American world studies at the University of Iowa.
- Author(s)Vershawn Ashanti Young
- PublisherWayne State University Press
- Date of Publication15/03/2007
- LanguageEnglish & English
- SubjectCommunication & Media
- Place of PublicationDetroit, MI
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintWayne State University Press
- Weight322 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine12 mm
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