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Critical Rhetorics of Race$
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Michael G. Lacy and Kent A. Ono

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762226

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762226.001.0001

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Quentin Tarantino in Black and White

Quentin Tarantino in Black and White

(p.81) 4 Quentin Tarantino in Black and White
Critical Rhetorics of Race

Sean Tierney

NYU Press

This chapter examines strategies of whiteness in the discourse of the popular film producer and director Quentin Tarantino. Quentin Tarantino's public rhetoric about issues of blackness as well as the racial realities both of and between black and white are illustrative of whiteness in many ways. Tarantino claims an authorial position of “being black” in order to justify using the word “nigger” in his public statements and popular films. Doing so helps him establish white artistic privilege while simultaneously subverting the moral authority of black filmmakers, such as Spike Lee. Moreover, Tarantino's rhetorical tactic of appropriating black culture and identity employs a postmodern discourse that reinforces whiteness's hegemonic power and privilege through its appeal to uncritical white publics.

Keywords:   whiteness, Quentin Tarantino, white artistic privilege, black filmmakers, black culture

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