Racial Betrayal and the Art of Being Creole
Focusing on the semantic history of the word “Creole” in the Caribbean and New Orleans, chapter 1 investigates the connection between the notion of betrayal and the concept of Creoleness. The chapter follows the life of Anatole Broyard (1920–1990), an American writer and literary critic of Creole descent from New Orleans who became infamous after his death for having passed as a white man during his entire adult life on the East Coast. The passing story of Broyard illustrates the evasive and unreliable nature of Creoleness. Boisseron proposes a theory of racial passing as a quintessential expression of Creoleness in which the discrepancies, shifts, slippages, and alterations, which are often misconceived as calculated expressions of betrayal and duplicity, are in fact defining components of both racial passing and the history of Creoleness.
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