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Heusel, Jennifer: "The Rhetoric of Heresy. The Boondocks Resurrects Martin Luther King Jr. and Agitates the Beloved Community." In: Western Journal of Communication (2013).
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Heusel2013
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Keywords: "The Boondocks", Adaption, Animation, Ethnizität, McGruder. Aaron, USA
Collection: Western Journal of Communication
The current narrative about Martin Luther King Jr.’s (MLK) beloved community is a poor imitation of his dynamic work-in-progress because it asserts that the beloved community has been achieved. This current narrative perpetuates a postracial orthodoxy, which assumes that racial and economic attitudes have been transformed by legal desegregation and the adoption of MLK as national hero, but they have not. Actually, the postracial narrative of the beloved community is in need of some heresy, which for this essay is an informed and offensive transgression meant to agitate, not destroy, dogma. As a rhetoric of transgression, heresy can agitate pious narratives so they can be useful for current socio-political and economic challenges. To understand the critical potentials and limitations of heresy, I analyze an episode of The Boondocks, which is an animated television series that uses satire to agonistically engage with postracism and perform beloved community differently. The episode’s heresy is problematic because it sullies the patron saint, MLK, in order to agitate the beloved community from its postracial pieties.
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