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Greater Atlanta - Black Satire after Obama

Greater Atlanta

Black Satire after Obama

Edited by Derek C. Maus & James J. Donahue
Hardcover : 9781496850553, 314 pages, April 2024
Paperback : 9781496850560, 314 pages, April 2024

Table of contents

“I’ve Done Told You, These Backhoes Ain’t Loyal!”: Atlanta and the State of Black Satire after Obama
Derek C. Maus

Downtown Atlanta

On the Perils of Enjoying One’s Wound: Atlanta and Contemporary African American Satire
Derek Conrad Murray

Whispering Sexuality: Queer Erasure and Black Satirical Disruption
GerShun Avilez

Satirizing Satire Itself: Atlanta’s Appropriation Aesthetic and the Blackening of US Civil Society
John Brooks

Awkwardness and Black Millennial Satire in Insecure and Atlanta
Erica-Brittney Horhn and Derek C. Maus

Forsyth County

White (Al)lies: Eating the Other in Atlanta and Jordan Peele’s Get Out
Emily Ruth Rutter

Racial Self-Identification in Atlanta and Danzy Senna’s New People
Alexandra Glavanakova

“Know Thyself”: Education and Identity Fashioning in Atlanta and Dear White People
Derek DiMatteo

Lake Lanier

Canines and Tricksters in Atlanta
Matthias Klestil

“That’s You”: Reflections on Human-Animal Doublings in Atlanta’s Televisual Satire
Sarah O’Brien

DeKalb County

“You Chose Black”: Atlanta’s Gendered Politics of Black Respectability and Representation
Keyana Parks

Atlanta and the Instability of Racial Performance
Tikenya Foster-Singletary

“What the Hell Is Muckin’?”: Mistranslation and Linguistic Pessimism in Atlanta
Lola Boorman

Ironic Minstrelsies of Affect in Atlanta
Phillip James Martinez Cortes

“It’s a Simulation, Van”: Atlanta, The Twilight Zone, and the Uncanniness of Black Womanhood
Danielle Fuentes Morgan

East Point/College Park

Becoming Inhuman: Donald Glover, Hiro Murai, and the Self-Alienation of Celebrity
Kinohi Nishikawa

Streets on Locke: The Volition of Atlanta
Thomas Britt

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

Playing on the Border: Racial Ambiguity, Passing, and Possibility in Atlanta and Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown
Abigail Jinju Lee

Composite Works Cited
About the Contributors

An engaging study of contemporary Black satire through the lens of a critically acclaimed television series


Contributions by GerShun Avilez, Lola Boorman, Thomas Britt, John Brooks, Phillip James Martinez Cortes, Derek DiMatteo, Tikenya Foster-Singletary, Alexandra Glavanakova, Erica-Brittany Horhn, Matthias Klestil, Abigail Jinju Lee, Derek C. Maus, Danielle Fuentes Morgan, Derek Conrad Murray, Kinohi Nishikawa, Sarah O'Brien, Keyana Parks, and Emily Ruth Rutter

The seventeen essays in Greater Atlanta: Black Satire after Obama collectively argue that in the years after the widespread hopefulness surrounding Barack Obama’s election as president waned, Black satire began to reveal a profound shift in US culture. Using the four seasons of the FX television show Atlanta (2016–22) as a springboard, the collection examines more than a dozen novels, films, and television shows that together reveal the ways in which Black satire has developed in response to contemporary cultural dynamics. Contributors reveal increased scorn toward self-proclaimed allies in the existential struggle still facing African Americans today.

Having started its production within a few weeks of Donald Trump’s (in)famous escalator ride in 2015, Atlanta in many ways is the perfect commentary on the absurdities of the contemporary cultural moment. The series exemplifies a significant development in contemporary Black satire, which largely eschews expectations of reform and instead offers an exasperated self-affirmation that echoes the declaration that Black Lives Matter.

Given anti-Black racism’s lengthy history, overt stimuli for outrage have predictably commanded African American satirists’ attention through the years. However, more recent works emphasize the willful ignorance underlying that history. As the volume shows, this has led to the exposure of performative allyship, virtue signaling, slacktivism, and other duplicitous forms of purported support as empty, oblivious gestures that ultimately harm African Americans as grievously as unconcealed bigotry.


"The erudite analysis unpacks the complex ideas embedded in the series’s surreal vision of Atlanta. This will enhance fans’ appreciation of the show."

- Publishers Weekly

"Greater Atlanta is the collection we need right now. It is far more than the first extended critical study of Atlanta, one of the best television shows of our era. This volume gathers the sharpest minds interested in African American culture and satire to examine the many complexities in Black lives since the Obama presidency. A sequel to Post-Soul Satire: Black Identity after Civil Rights, in many ways Greater Atlanta is even more essential. No scholar of contemporary African American culture should be without it."

- Darryl Dickson-Carr, professor of English at Southern Methodist University