Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs
In this incredibly timely book, David Ikard dismantles popular white supremacist tropes, which effectively devalue black life and trivialize black oppression. Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs investigates the tenacity and cultural capital of white redemption narratives in literature and popular media from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Help.
In the book, Ikard explodes the fiction of a postracial society while awakening us to the sobering reality that we must continue to fight for racial equality or risk losing the hard-fought gains of the Civil Rights movement. Through his close reading of novels, films, journalism, and political campaigns, he analyzes willful white blindness and attendant master narratives of white redemption—arguing powerfully that he who controls the master narrative controls the perception of reality. The book sounds the alarm about seemingly innocuous tropes of white redemption that abound in our society and generate the notion that blacks are perpetually indebted to whites for liberating, civilizing, and enlightening them. In Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs, Ikard expertly and unflinchingly gives us a necessary critical historical intervention.
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