Abstract

Abstract:

What does it mean that in a moment when black motherhood is incessantly sutured to grief, to anticipated death, and to mourning, that Serena Williams and Beyoncé Knowles proffer a very different vision of black maternity, one that emphasizes abundance, visibility, and even spirituality as black maternal ethics? I argue that this black maternal aesthetic—one that at times takes up, and at times refuses death as the condition of black maternal life—uses its explicit commitment to aesthetics to cloak its political and ethical work. This article develops the conception of black maternal aesthetics to read Williams and Knowles as "masters of self-fashioning" who circumvent the prevailing constraints of the black maternal political role through performances that cloak their political transformation of the category of black maternity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1092-311X
Print ISSN
2572-6633
Pages
pp. 551-575
Launched on MUSE
2019-07-11
Open Access
No
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