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Steppin'out of Whiteness

Steppin'out of Whiteness

Chapter:
(p.161) 4 Steppin'out of Whiteness
Source:
American Allegory
Author(s):
Black Hawk Hancock
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226043241.003.0007

This chapter recounts the author's engagement with the Steppin' scene in Chicago and explores how cultural practice enables the contestation and transgression of racial categories. This approach presents an alternative model for explaining racial identity, grounded in the competencies and embodied knowledge that one enacts in practice, which opens up new antiessentialist possibilities for theorizing race and an antiracist politics based in cultural labor. In doing so, the chapter highlights the nuances of subcultures within the larger African American community by showing the internal differences that exemplify the complexity of discussing a singular African American community in relation to any particular cultural form.

Keywords:   dance, dancing, Steppin', cultural practice, racial identity, African American culture

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