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Arab Americans: The New BlackAdd to Queue

  • Posted by : American University of Beirut

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  • Date posted : Jan 01, 1970

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CASAR organized a lecture presented by Dr. Cynthia Young on May 7, 2013.In the talk, the speaker considers the history of Arab American racialization before and after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. While prior to 9/11 Arab Americans racial identity pivoted on its proximity to whiteness, after 9/11 Arab Americans were racialized as non-white others and/or reduced to a religion "Islam," both of which rendered them subject to surveillance, detention and potential deportation. During the 2000s, the George W. Bush administration cannily used the racial symbolism implied by having two high profile African Americans, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, defend U.S. foreign policy to link U.S. racial equality to the so-called "War on Terror." This ideological and political strategy was one replicated more broadly in U.S. popular culture, particularly television of the era. Cynthia Young is Associate Professor English and African American Studies at Boston College. She specializes in literature and culture of the African Diaspora, U.S. popular culture, race and cultural theory, African American and U.S. Ethnic literatures. Dr. Young is the author of Soul Power: Cultural Radicalism and the Making of a U.S. Third World Left. Her most recent projects are on black British and black American cultural politics and popular culture after 9/11.

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