Abstract

This essay reads Langston Hughes’s “Rejuvenation Through Joy,” a satirical tale of passing from his short story collection The Ways of White Folks (1934), to explore how racial authenticity is produced and capitalized upon within mass-consumer culture in the interwar period. I argue that “Rejuvenation” offers a critique of racial capitalism in the age of the modern assembly-line by demonstrating the ways that race intersects with labor markets, class relations and commodity culture. In this capacity, “Rejuvenation” portends contemporary narratives of race, shedding light on the intersection of popular discourses of colorblindness, post-raciality and racial authenticity in the post-9/11 moment.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-6182
Print ISSN
1062-4783
Pages
pp. 593-602
Launched on MUSE
2013-12-27
Open Access
No
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