"A compelling and highly readable study that makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of racial identity in American popular entertainment."
-Journal of American Studies
"Discusses a fascinating and understudied segment of race in America. . . . Adds a welcome layer of complexity."
. . . interrogates the many contributions of African Americans to popular American entertainment."
-Journal of American History
"The first full-length study of a heretofore slighted, largely ignored subversive performative phenomenon....Highly recommended. All readers."
From the Inside Flap
McAllister explores the enduring tradition of "whiting up," in which African American actors, comics, musicians, and even everyday people have studied and assumed white racial identities. For over three centuries and in today's supposedly "postracial" America, McAllister argues, whiting up has allowed African American performers first to appropriate artistic products of a white imagination and then to fashion new black identities through these "white" forms, therefore enhancing our collective understanding of self and other.