restricted access Pure Black: Class, Color, and Intraracial Politics in Toni Morrison's Paradise
Abstract

This essay explores black class privilege and associated questions of skin color and racial authenticity in Toni Morrison's 1997 novel, Paradise, written during a period fraught with intraracial ambivalence and confusion about what it means to be "black" in the post-Civil Rights era. In their obsession with biological racial purity, Morrison's "8-rock" characters corporealize racial authenticity, a concept that usually exists for African Americans as a cultural ideal. Paradise ultimately critiques the black nationalist desire for a "pure," and purely "authentic," form of African American identity, in the process highlighting the frequent suppression of the multiracial in authenticity discourse.


pdf