Abstract

In the years following World War I, the Saturday Evening Post continued its longstanding practice of caricaturing and dehumanizing African Americans by portraying black servicemen as bumblers and buffoons. This politics of representation registers and recontains new historical developments in African American experience, but then folds those phenomena back into older, stereotypical forms of knowledge and racially stratified social norms and practices. Hugh Wiley’s Wildcat stories, which were published regularly for more than a decade, exemplify the Post’s practices. A significant response to the Post’s treatment of African American veterans can be found in Edward Christopher Williams’s The Letters of Davy Carr: A True Story of Colored Vanity Fair (republished in 2004 as When Washington Was in Vogue). This epistolary novel, which was published serially and anonymously in the Messenger, a radical little magazine of the Harlem Renaissance, challenges the racist stereotyping of black soldiers by demonstrating that African Americans would be full participants in US print culture and would not be registered and recontained by the phantasms of racism and minstrelsy.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-4238
Print ISSN
1054-7479
Pages
pp. 167-182
Launched on MUSE
2016-08-15
Open Access
No
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