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Race, Ethnicity and Nuclear WarRepresentations of Nuclear Weapons and Post-Apocalyptic Worlds$
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Paul Williams

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846317088

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846319792

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date: 20 October 2018

Fear of a Black Planet

Fear of a Black Planet

(p.105) 4 Fear of a Black Planet
Race, Ethnicity and Nuclear War
Liverpool University Press

This chapter comments on several American films and novels from the 1950s, early 1960s and the 1980s, focusing on a major theme structuring interracial relations in the post-nuclear-war world: who is to have sex, and with whom? This is a crucial issue because the reproduction of the survivors will determine who will repopulate the United States (in some instances, the world). The narratives dramatize the conflict that ensues when some of the characters disagree with the racial ingredients out of which the Americans of the future will emerge. The chapter emphasizes the decisions made by survivors in choosing a mate for procreation; it uses Werner Sollors' model of how American identities are held in tension between descent and consent relations to discuss the strategies used to explain characters' decisions to reproduce ‘with their own kind’ — or not.

Keywords:   post-nuclear-war world, sexual relations, reproduction, repopulation, human survivors

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