Playing with the Changes
Miriam J. Petty contributes a brief reflection on her personal and professional engagement with Perry’s controversial character Madea. She thinks about Madea as a figure that allows Perry the freedom to cross otherwise uncrossable lines and boundaries, and to play generically, iconographically, intertextually, cross-culturally, visually, intergenerationally and performatively. Playing in this multitude of ways allows him to bring Madea forth in all of her taboo, ideologically vexed, contradictory glory. Ultimately, the one act enables the other; their interconnectedness is at the core of Perry’s significance as contemporary cultural phenomenon.
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