Literary Theory And African Am Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

?Race is defined as one group of the populations constituting humanity.? (Coon 62) Since the 1970?s, the conclusion has been stated that race is a social, cultural and political concept based largely on superficial appearances. The notion of ?race? is so emotionally charged that objective discussion of its significance in relation to social problems is extremely difficult. There are three theories that have been very significant in re-defining the term ?race? throughout their composition. This essay attempts to define the current North American concept of ?race? among the African American culture and other racial notions that have been created throughout the configuration of the Post-Modernist, Feminist and Post-Colonial theories.Post-Modernism is a complicated term, one that has only emerged as an area of study since the mid-1980?s. Post-Modernism, by it?s very nature, is virtually impossible to come up with one single definition, though, Post-Modernism in it?s totality is the movement in arts, music, literature and drama which rejected the past Victorian ideas of ?modern?. The movement contributed to the realization that art has no single meaning and overturned the problems with culture and language boundaries that cut away at art?s meaning, worth and truth. Today, the state of mind of the human world is called Post-Modernism, since it is a multi-cultural era. Racial Post-Modernism calls attention to those understandings that are shared across the boundaries of class, gender and race. To take racism seriously, one must consider the plight of the underclass people of color, a vast majority of whom is black. For African Americans Post-Modern conditions have been and are characterized by continued displacement and despondency. There is increasing class division and differentiation, creating a significant black middle-class concerned with racism to the degree that is poses constraints on upward social mobility. However, this is also building a vast and growing black underclass that embodies a kind of walking rejection that manifests pervasive drug addiction, alcohol abuse, homicide and suicide. (Biddiss 17). Now, because of de-industrialization, we also have a devastated black industrial working class. I am referring to a sentiment of tremendous hopelessness. Very few African American intellectuals have talked, or written, about Post-Modernism. In J.F. Loytard?s book ?the Post-Modern Condition?, he confronts the lack of recognition of black presence that much Post-Modernist theory reinscribes and the resistance on the part of most black people to hearing about real connections between Post-Modernism and black experience. (Loytard 24). The overall impact of the Post-Modern condition is that many other ethnic groups now share with black people a sense of deep alienation, despair, uncertainty and a loss of a sense of grounding, even if these emotions are not learned by shared circumstance. Despite the fact that society is becoming more diverse and we...

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