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Closure And "Colored People's Time"

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Chapter Summary

&t;Colored People's Time,&t; or CPT, is an in-joke among people of color. It is also the time-sense of what Du Bois called &t;double consciousness,&t; the twinned perspectives that people of color learn to adopt in relations with whites. CPT serves as a vehicle for visions of justice, and in narratives by people of color it serves as what Gary Saul Morson calls &t;sideshadowing,&t; a parallel imagining of what might have happened. This chapter examines the relationship between CPT and narrative closure, to determine whether the former, often simplified as a circular sense of time or as a sardonic rationalization for lateness, frustrates or even thwarts the latter. CPT has been studied so far mostly within the United States, and, as the chapter focuses on U.S. and English-language examples.

Keywords: Colored People's Time; double consciousness; sideshadowing; time



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