Black and White: Vestiges of Biracialism in American Discourse

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Abstract:

The authors argue that the application of critical methods to fragments in successive discursive formations, including oral traditions, double meanings, epithets, fictions, and fantasies, reveal that Americans have always almost known of their biracial heritage. This re-examination of archival evidence in conjunction with critiques of novels, neologisms, and epithets enables the authors to reinterpret narratives of whiteness, particularly those surrounding Jane McCrea, America's first national martyr. Though claimed as a pure, white woman, we argue that underground traditions and a succession of discursive formations lend credence to the possibility that she exemplifies America's biracial past.

Keywords: Discursive Formation; Jane McCrea; Race; Textual Wink; The Tell

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14791420903511255

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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