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Backstage: The Death of Black Nationalist Culture? LIVE Shorts

April 9, 2009

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With an African-American president in the White House—and the first black chairman voted to head the Republican National Committee—has black nationalism become irrelevant?

Novelist Victor Lavalle explores the personal and political valences of the nationalist idea, and makes a case for embracing a more ecumenical view of black experience—including the freedom to move beyond traditional conceptions of blackness. Baz Dreisinger, author of Near Black: White to Black Passing in American Culture; Peniel E. Joseph, author of Waiting Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America; and Atlantic Monthly contributing editor Ta-Nehisi Coates respond.