Body as Evidence
Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: State University of New York Press
Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender
This book is the culmination of years of critical thinking, critical research, critical teaching, and critical conversations. I am deeply grateful for those who’ve remained in my life or who brushed against it to plant and germinate various seeds of wisdom. Such individuals include my mother, Jeanette...
Black bodies surface quite spectacularly in twenty‑first‑century media. Consider the following: Scenario #1 On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first black President of the United States of America. To mark the historic moment, several black churches in the area where I lived organized bus trips to...
Part I: Text Messages
Chapter 1: Pop Goes Democracy: Mediating Race, Gender, and Nation on American Idol
Parallels between presidential elections and the hit TV series American Idol are not hard to make. Indeed, they had become punch lines in comedy routines: from Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert complaining that it took too long to determine the next American Idol (in a gag that had audiences assuming he...
Chapter 2: Understanding “The New Black”: Destabilizing Blackness in the New Millennium
Weeks before the historic election on November 4, 2008, of Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States, another phenomenon took place. Here, I refer to the debut of the music video for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it),” Beyoncé’s second single from her third solo album...
Chapter 3: Body as Evidence: The Facts of Blackness, the Fictions of Whiteness
On February 20, 2006, I guest lectured for a graduate seminar on Black Popular Culture, at Duke University. There I was to engage students in conversation about my first book, Venus in the Dark, which examines the visual legacies of black women’s sexual representations—beginning with...
Part II: Geo Trackings
Chapter 4: Digital Whiteness, Primitive Blackness: Racializing the “Digital Divide”
Black bodies occupy a peculiar space in futuristic cinema. Look no farther than the 1999 box office movie hit The Matrix, which positions its main black characters in opposition to “cyberspace.”1 Morpheus, the celebrated techie and leader of armed resistance against the titular technocracy, first emerges...
Chapter 5: Digital Divas Strike Back: Digital Cultures and Feminist Futures
At the dawn of our information age, circa 2000, filmmaker Julie Dash embarked on The Digital Diva, an interactive CD‑Rom and film project.1 In this work, the titular Digital Diva, Anna Achebe, immerses herself in a digital lifestyle but is eventually targeted for police surveillance—and for...
Chapter 6: Exotic Sisterhood: The Limits and Possibilities of Global Feminism
With a feminist sensibility and streetwise sass, Suheir Hammad, the celebrated Palestinian American spoken word poet, peppers her poem, “Exotic,” with words of resistance to the objectifying, white, Western, and heterosexual male gaze that reduces her to a number of “exotic” stereotypes. Mapping these...
Epilogue: Widening Our Lens on the World
In the midst of widespread destruction and suffering, misguided Eurocentric news coverage “explaining” Haitian poverty and its history of political upheavals, and various pleas for donations and relief, the women of Haiti took to the streets and summoned G*d.1 Raising their voices in song to...
Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2012
OCLC Number: 817565779
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