Deep into the Night the City Calls as the Blacks Come Home to Roost

Simone, AbdouMaliq. 2007. Deep into the Night the City Calls as the Blacks Come Home to Roost. Theory, Culture & Society, 24(7-8), pp. 224-237. [Article]

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In Jean Genet’s self-designated clown show, The Blacks, black actors in white masks play out the proceedings of a tribunal organized to pass judgment on the black perpetrator of the rape of a white woman. There are continuously oblique references to a scenario off-stage where a revolt by blacks which may be under way is side-tracked by having to deal with a traitor among them. In ‘reality’, the crime never took place, and the necessary detour of having to dispose of a traitor becomes the haunting mechanism that identifies the claustrophobic, circular game of reflections and inversions that keep black and white locked into a continuous reiteration of the normative grammars of power. The trajectories of desire, anger, freedom and subjection are held together by the very dissimulations, performances, role-playing, trade-offs and revolutions that take place. Clearly it is the way race is spatialized, and the way that the arbitrary elaboration of identities, so easily interchangeable among themselves, is put to work that holds together specific contexts of operation.

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Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2010 07:24

Last Modified:

07 Dec 2012 12:52

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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