Minstrels and their Masks

Citation metadata

Author: Gayle Pemberton
Editor: Jeffrey W. Hunter
Date: 2001
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 829 words

Document controls

Main content

Article Preview :

[(review date 13 July 1997) In the following review, Pemberton praises Gubar's Racechanges as a work which contributes to the ability to "envision a post-racist society."]

Anyone looking for an easy application of Susan Gubar's findings in Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face in American Culture can travel to a white high school. Look at the dress, hairstyles, hear the music and a considerable amount of slang, watch the high-fives and other gestures of the students to discover racechanges, or whites passing as blacks. Racechanging is "meant to suggest the traversing of racial boundaries, racial imitation or impersonation, cross-racial mimicry or mutability, white posing as black or black passing as white, pan-racial mutuality." Such a broad spectrum of racial theorizing, performance and attitude provides the framework for Gubar's exploration of literature, art, photography, psychology and a host of other topics: The task is an enormous one, in which Gubar effectively demonstrates, on the one hand, just how obdurate and tenacious are categories of race in the United States and Europe and, on the other, how these categories are porous, inconsistent and capricious. Youth culture is always an easy mark; understanding the dynamics of racechange in its more persistent and pervasive adult forms is something else. Gubar amasses...

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1100036852