Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Bertram D. Ashe

Second Advisor

Dr. Daryl Dance

Third Advisor

Dr. Ilka Saal


The present study attempts to offer an overview of the Post-Soul aesthetic and its role in re-writing African-American identity and focuses explicitly on three authors: Spike Lee, Touré, and Suzan-Lori Parks. My premise is that Post-Soul art is a direct result of the sweeping changes brought by the post-Civil Rights era in the African- American mentality, which inaugurated a new age in African-American art. Thus, the Post-Soul generation represents blackness as diverse, free to define itself in its own terms; they promote a critical take on black nationalism, and new perspectives on slavery. Most of the Post-Soul artists consider themselves “cultural mulattos,” people able to navigate equally in the white and the black worlds, who programmatically explore the boundaries of blackness, and use non-traditional black cultural influences in their art works. Determined to (re)Signify on both black and white cultural references, Post-Soul artists challenge both stereotypical images of African-American promoted by mainstream culture and, the sometimes, sentimentalized iconic figureheads of their own community.