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Black Post-BlacknessThe Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics$
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Margo Natalie Crawford

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041006

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041006.001.0001

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Who’s Afraid of the Black Fantastic?

Who’s Afraid of the Black Fantastic?

The Substance of Surface

(p.192) 7 Who’s Afraid of the Black Fantastic?
Black Post-Blackness

Margo Natalie Crawford

University of Illinois Press

This chapter uncovers the overcoming of the binary of surface and depth in the Black Arts Movement mobilization of the substance of style. Crawford shows that when we put the visual and literary art of the Black Arts Movement and the 21st century together, we can see the often unrecognized use of surface as surface (in both movements). This chapter argues that black post-blackness teaches us that the external must stop being pathologized and depth must stop being celebrated as the rejection of play and performance. This chapter analyzes the art and performances of Erykah Badu, Nikki Giovanni, Diana Ross, Haki Madhubuti, Glenn Ligon, Mingering Mike, and others.

Keywords:   the substance of style, Nikki Giovanni, Erykah Badu, Diana Ross, Haki Madhubuti

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