The Queer Limit of Black Memory
Black Lesbian Literature and Irresolution
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The Ohio State University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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This book has taken years to complete and a village of support, including the financial support of the University of California, Santa Barbara Dissertation Fellowship in the Department of Feminist Studies, University of California Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship, ...
Introduction: Listening to the Archives: Black Lesbian Literature and Queer Memory
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The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is a recent structure that has emerged as a monument to Black memory. Opened in San Francisco in December of 2005, the museum is literally positioned between archives. Located near Union Square, the museum stands across the street from the California Historical Society, ...
Chapter 1. Desirous Mistresses and Unruly Slaves: Neo-Slave Narratives, Property, Power, and Desire
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Slavery is the African American “primal scene.”1. It is the condition in which the memory of an African presence in the Americas is born. True to the Freudian context of the term, it is under these circumstances that Black sexuality in the Americas is first constituted, creating the enduring memory of sexual subjugation. ...
Chapter 2. Small Movements: Queer Blues Epistemologies in Cherry Muhanji’s Her
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In the above excerpt from Cherry Muhanji’s 1990 novel Her, a gay male pimp, Monkey Dee, turns his attention to Kali—by day a wife and mother, by night a cross-dressing “gay boy.” Monkey Dee encounters Kali in Chesterfields, the local gay bar where performers sing the blues, a range of sexualities reign, and gender fluidity is the norm. ...
Chapter 3. “Mens Womens Some that is Both Some That is Neither”: Spiritual Epistemology and Queering the Black Rural South in the Work of Sharon Bridgforth
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The opening lines of Sharon Bridgforth’s 1999 performance novel love conjure/blues begins with an invitation to reremember African American southern ancestors from the early twentieth century.1 In Bridgforth’s work, the South is a locus of Black queer life and the birthplace of Black queer identities and desires. ...
Chapter 4. “Make It Up and Trace It Back”: Remembering Black Trans Subjectivity in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet
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When Jackie Kay’s first novel, Trumpet (1998), opens, Joss Moody—a Black transman born in Scotland of a white mother and an African father—is already dead. His story is told through the remembrances of his wife, Millie, and their adopted son, Colman, as well as others who had contact with him during and even after his life. ...
Chapter 5. What Grace Was: Erotic Epistemologies and Diasporic Belonging in Dionne Brand’s In Another Place, Not Here
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This book began with an examination of pleasure in Black lesbian neo-slave narratives as an imagined strategy of resistance for enslaved women. In order to imagine pleasure in the torment of slavery, the authors created irresolute, “undead” characters to navigate the incongruous terrain of social death, suffering, and momentary satisfaction. ...
Epilogue: Grieving the Queer: Anti-Black Violence and Black Collective Memory
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In the opening of this volume I shared my desire for a resonance of queerness in Black memory that I sought on the metaphorical face of Africa as represented on the walls of the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. This text ends as it began: with the ancestors, through an examination of the registry of the dead. ...
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Black Performance and Cultural Criticism
Series Editor Byline: Valerie Lee and E. Patrick Johnson