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RACIALIZED AUTHENTICATION: Constructing Representations of the Florida Highwaymen

Authors

  • Amanda Koontz Anthony

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Central Florida
      Amanda Koontz Anthony, Department of Sociology, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Phillips Hall, Orlando, FL 32816-1360; e-mail: Amanda.Anthony@ucf.edu
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Amanda Koontz Anthony, Department of Sociology, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Phillips Hall, Orlando, FL 32816-1360; e-mail: Amanda.Anthony@ucf.edu

Abstract

This article explores how art world professionals and cultural publicists construct representations of a group of “rediscovered” black artists, who painted from the end of the Jim Crow era to the present. Examining their writings, statements from interviews, and their interactions with audiences at public events, I show how they represented the artists as both exotic self-taught artists and achievers of the American Dream. I introduce the term “racialized authentication” to frame a branch of racial rhetoric through which the various actors draw from both traditional racial stereotypes and new racism ideology to construct authentic artists. In conclusion, I address how these findings have implications for the integration of contemporary research on race and sociological studies of art worlds.

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