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  • Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity by Monica L. Miller;
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Drawing on the work of both Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Miller traces this figure of the luxury slave across the Atlantic to America, where she locates it in highly stylized American minstrel performances.

Why Was Crossdressing Illegal?

Miller contends that the dandy and the New Negro remained linked during the Harlem Renaissance, particularly in works by W. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson. This very refusal, Miller contends, suggests an endless spectrum of possibilities for black identity. The past decade has given rise to a number of critical texts that focus on material culture work by Bill Brown, Gary Totten, Gary Otten, and Katherine Joslin, to name a few.

Many of these studies have focused on the turn of the twentieth century in America, and particularly on white authors such as Henry James and Edith Wharton.

Black Dandyism: a Cultural History, an interview with Monica L. Miller, Part I

And though her case studies remain centrally focused on England and the United States, her theories of cultural signification would lend themselves to studies in Caribbean literatures and other diasporic movements. This book enriches the story of one very specific group the black dandy with vigor and gusto, and it opens space for a deeper consideration of the multifaceted uses of dress across gender, race, and culture.

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Barnard English professor Miller surveys the history of sartorial style and flamboyance among black dandies and the cultural responses, both fascinated and alarmed, they have provoked. She paints a broad and teeming panorama: the 18th-century English dandy whose stylishness subtly subverted the markers of slavery; his appearance in the writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain and W.


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  6. Du Bois; his reappearance in 20th-century Harlem as an icon of freedom and modernity; his role in avant-garde film and art; and modern-day avatars Sean Combs and Andre Throughout, she explores the protean manifestations of dandyism, its blurring of racial and sexual boundaries, its significations of status and respectability, its capacity to satirize white fashionableness even as it expressed black determination to emulate and surpass white high-style.

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    cardalohssoftlink.ml Miller, Author. Duke Univ.