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Black Sexual Politics : African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism



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Caricatures of Black sexuality saturate American popular culture in bootylicious rap videos and paternity tests on the Jerry Springer show. Blacks have been cast as hypersexual animals in Western culture since a scantily clad "Hottentot Venus" was displayed in a cage in Paris in the 1800s. InBlack Sexual Politics, one of America's most influential writers on race and gender explores how images of Black sexuality have been used to maintain the color line and how they threaten to spread a new brand of racism around the world today. The ideal of pure white womanhood, Collins argues, required the invention of hot-blooded Latinas, exotic Suzy Wongs, and wanton jezebels--images that persist in the media today in everything from animal-skin bikinis to the creation of the "welfare mom." Men confront a similar bias in a society that defines African American males as drug dealers, brutish athletes, irresponsible fathers, and rapists. Collins dissects the widespread impact of these distortedmessages as she explores African American love relationships, sex in youth culture, interracial romance, sexual violence, and HIV/AIDS. A revolutionary work that touches the intimate and public lives of all African Americans,Black Sexual Politicsbrilliantly illuminates the subtle interplay of race, sex, and politics in American culture today.

Author Biography

Patricia Hill Collins is Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, and Charles Phelps Taft Emeritus Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, University of Cincinnati

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: No Turning Back 1(24)
PART I African Americans and the New Racism
Why Black Sexual Politics?
The Past Is Ever Present: Recognizing the New Racism
Prisons for Our Bodies, Closets for Our Minds: Racism, Heterosexism, and Black Sexuality
PART II Rethinking Black Gender Ideology
Get Your Freak On: Sex, Babies, and Images of Black Femininity
Booty Call: Sex, Violence, and Images of Black Masculinity
Very Necessary: Redefining Black Gender Ideology
PART III Toward a Progressive Black Sexual Politics
Assume the Position: The Changing Contours of Sexual Violence
No Storybook Romance: How Race and Gender Matter
Why We Can't Wait: Black Sexual Politics and the Challenge of HIV/AIDS
Afterword: The Power of a Free Mind 303(6)
Notes 309(40)
Glossary 349(4)
Bibliography 353(14)
Index 367

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