- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Duke University Press Books (November 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0822336189
- ISBN-13: 978-0822336181
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology
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From the Publisher
"Black Queer Studies makes a dynamic contribution to the shifting landscape of queer studies. This volume will surely transform our understandings of both black studies and queer studies, and it will create new idioms for the analysis and theorization of race and sexuality. Black Queer Studies is necessary and long overdue."Judith Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Still, there is much about this book that frustrated me. A few years ago, a study was done of black LGBTs and most respondents said they hated the term "queer," yet the academics here champion it. Really, if "queer" is supposed to represent the four groups equally, then this book was quite lacking in its coverage of bisexuals and the transgendered. This is surprising given famous black bisexual writers such as Alice Walker, Stuart Hall, and June Jordan. Often "people of color" is used when only blacks are brought up; Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans barely come up in this book at all.
James Baldwin is brought up often here. I understand that. His writings were rigorous and often dealt with racial and sexual issues simultaneously. Still, I kept thinking about how bell hooks once wrote that Toni Morrison gets a lot of attention when publishers won't print the works of black women that are equally as sophisticated. James Baldwin deserves his crown in black, gay letters, but I'm concerned about him being the only one to get to wear a crown. Several books have been printed about the many non-hetero members of the Harlem Renaissance, yet that group hardly comes up here. James is getting a bit played out and the authors here are not helping change that tendency.
Finally, I had beef with many of the essays. Charles Nero has great points but his essay is really two works glued together. Can anyone really say the whiteness of New Orleans' "gay ghetto" is due to "Chasing Amy" or "Six Feet Under"? One author could have written quickly about how he supported a gay, feminine student when that student was condemned by a masculine, heterosexual one. Instead, he went on and on in unnecessary jargon and babble. Kara Keeling's essay was 90% theory and 10% a discussion of Dunye's "Watermelon Woman." Why bother to bring up the film if you're barely going to discuss it?
I wasn't really feelin' this text, but that's not to say it didn't have great aims.