The White Negro (essay)

The White Negro (essay)

"The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster" is an essay by Norman Mailer that recorded a wave of young white people in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s who liked jazz and swing music so much that they adopted black culture as their own.

The essay was first published in Fall 1957 issue of "Dissent," and was reprinted in "Advertisements for Myself" in 1959. The so-called "white negroes" enshrouded themselves in black clothing styles, black jive language, and black music. They mainly associated with black people, distancing themselves from white society. One of the early figures in the white negro phenomenon was Mezz Mezzrow, an American Jew born in 1899 who had declared himself a "voluntary negro" by the 1920s. This movement influenced the hipsters of the 1940s, the beats of the 1950s, the mods of the 1960s, and the wigger of later decades.


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