Chapter 18: Broken Mirrors and Reflections of One’s Self: Blackness, Indianness and Hybridity

“Broken Mirrors and Reflections of One’s Self: Blackness, Indianness, and Hybridity” melds personal essay with literary studies to discuss the politics of authenticity and the difficulties of black community consolidation across phenotypic and national difference. The author, through encounters that predominantly occur during an academic job search for a position in African American literature, describes negotiating the various ways in which her body was read as both Other and familiar and her own sense of her black identity. The author argues for the political efficacy of blackness as a hybrid category that refutes myths of the purity of origins. Blackness is rearticulated as a political process that includes other racial identities, specifically the author’s South African Indian ancestry.