English prof. Diana Mafe pens literary analysis of biracial blacks

English prof. Diana Mafe pens literary analysis of biracial blacks

The Denisonian: Denison University’s student publication since 1857
Granville, Ohio

Curtis Edmonds, Forum Editor

The United States is undoubtedly one of the most–if not the most–racially diverse country in the world, and seven percent of American children born in the last decade were bi- or multiracial. Denison English professor Diana Mafe, a Canada native, has a new book out that explores literary representations of biracial blacks in the United States and South Africa titled, “Mixed Race Stereotypes in South African and American Literature: Coloring outside the (Black and White) Lines.”

Mafe’s book, which was published earlier this month, is a 150-page examination of feminist and queer theory as it applies to the American “mulattos” and the South African “coloureds,” different terms for the same subject: biracial children who are the offspring of black and white parents.

The first 40 pages or so act as both a history lesson and introduction to the topic. She describes how mulattos and coloureds came to be – through consensual and nonconsensual sexual relationships between white men and black or African women as a result of colonialism and slavery…

…Today, the mulatto literary trope continues to be popular. Mafe asserts that this is because the “mulatto embodies infinite binaries.” And, she’s right. What better character type to navigate right and wrong, good and bad, black and white, than a character who literally falls in the middle?…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,