Alisha Gaines's Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy PDF

By Alisha Gaines

In 1948, journalist Ray Sprigle traded his whiteness to reside as a black guy for 4 weeks. a bit over a decade later, John Howard Griffin famously "became" black besides, touring the yank South looking for a definite type of racial realizing. modern historical past is suffering from the strangely complicated tales of white humans passing as black, and the following Alisha Gaines constructs a special family tree of "empathetic racial impersonation--white liberals strolling within the myth of black dermis below the alibi of cross-racial empathy. on the finish in their experiments in "blackness," Gaines argues, those debatably well-meaning white impersonators arrived at little greater than fake recognition.

Complicating the histories of black-to-white passing and blackface minstrelsy, Gaines makes use of an interdisciplinary method rooted in literary reviews, race conception, and cultural reports to bare those occasionally maddening, and infrequently absurd, experiments of racial impersonation. by means of interpreting this historical past of recent racial impersonation, Gaines indicates that there has been, and nonetheless is, a defective cultural good judgment that locations huge, immense religion within the concept that empathy is all that white americans want to make an important distinction in tips to racially navigate our society.

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Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy by Alisha Gaines


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