1st Edition

Memoirs of Race, Color, and Belonging

By Nicole Stamant Copyright 2022
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    Memoirs of Race, Color, and Belonging provides a fresh look at the complex dialogue of race and identity in memoir, examining three generations of biracial African Americans’ experiences in their autobiographies. Exploring writers from James McBride and Shirlee Taylor Haizlip to Barack Obama, Toi Dericotte, Natasha Trethway, Rebecca Walker, and Emily Raboteau, this volume explores the ways in which these memoirists refute terms regarding race and simple understandings of belonging, using their contested embodied positions as sites for narration, quest, and protest. Organized chronologically, this volume will provide readers insight into memoirs from Jim Crow America to the Civil Rights period and finally those considering the post-soul (and post-Loving v. Virginia) generation. Memoirs of Race, Color, and Belonging interrogates these difficult spaces surrounding identity construction, encouraging new conversations surrounding visibility of mixed-race individuals and experiences for future generations. Through archives and personal testimony, this book provides a model for interweaving theoretical and personal accounts of color in American culture to encourage discussions that transgress disciplinary boundaries in the today’s dialogue.

    Introduction: Relationality, Identification, and the One-Drop Rule

    Hospitality, Inheritance, and Collective Memory


    Chapter 1: Haunting and "The new America": Living with Jim Crow

    Passing: Spectral Temporality & Surveillance

    "home in language": Proprioceptive Subjectivity

    Chapter 2: Memorials and Filiality in the Civil Rights Era

    "The words to tell the story": Driven to Memorialize

    Still Haunted: Postmemory and Place-Memory

    Chapter 3: Movement Children: The Post-Soul Generation

    "Belonging is my birthright": Being Post-Soul

    The Paradox of Hospitality

    Conclusion: Considering Genetic Identity




    Nicole Stamant, author of Serial Memoir: Archiving American Lives (Palgrave, 2014), is Associate Professor and Chair of English at Agnes Scott College, where she specializes in Life Writing Studies. She earned her PhD in English from Texas A&M University and her articles have appeared in ARIEL, MELUS, a/b: Auto/Biography, South Central Review, and Studies in Comics among others. She has contributed to a number of edited collections; most recently Consumption and the Literary Cookbook (Routledge 2020). In 2018, she received the Agnes Scott Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award.