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Post What? The Liminality of Multi-Racial Identity

Department of English, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053, USA
Academic Editor: Myra Mendible
Humanities 2016, 5(2), 46;
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race, Politics, and the Humanities in an Age of 'Posts')
PDF [197 KB, uploaded 18 June 2016]


This article, “Post What? The Liminality of Multi-Racial Identity,” argues that the successes and failures of 21st-century satire reveal the myth of post-raciality while simultaneously dismissing racial essentialism. I focus on three critical moments: the commercial success of Mat Johnson’s Loving Day, a text and forthcoming television show that examines the shifting self-identities of mixed-race individuals; the inability of a potential love interest on the television series, Louie, to accept a black woman as the ex-wife of the titular protagonist’s phenotypically white daughters; and Barack Obama’s self-designation as “black” on the census shortly after his election. I argue that the widespread reach of these instances, coupled with audience engagement and response, underscores the ways that the public realm frames a contemporary understanding of race as both meaningful and absurd. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-racial; identity; Barack Obama; popular culture; critical race studies; humor studies; twenty-first-century studies multi-racial; identity; Barack Obama; popular culture; critical race studies; humor studies; twenty-first-century studies
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Morgan, D.F. Post What? The Liminality of Multi-Racial Identity. Humanities 2016, 5, 46.

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