Paper Title

My Queer Relationship with Black Masculinity: A Refusal of Fear, Prejudice, and Racism

Location

Room 221, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

autoethnography, gender, sexuality, race

Abstract

This paper is an autoethnographic exploration of a southern white woman’s relationship to black masculinity. With an intersectional lens I investigate the effects of gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and age on my relationship with black men and masculinity. Each personal narrative presented throughout the paper illustrates a different location in my journey to understand race and willingness to reject racism. An important theme underlying each of the narratives is “white fear.” My narratives illustrate my rejection of white fear and racist tendencies in my relationships with black masculinity. I consider my relationship to black masculinity by interrogating three phrases and three corresponding events that have influenced my understanding and perception of blackness, particularly black maleness. Each phrase introduces a self-reflexive narrative, which depicts my relationship to black men. Self-reflexivity is important in discussions of race as it can yield greater understanding of oneself and Othered others. In totality, the narratives depict my closeness (both physical and emotional/mental) to black masculinity. Because white women are typically expected to be removed from black men/masculinity, my narratives depict both queerness and racial rebelliousness as I break white heteropatriarchal norms.

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Apr 2nd, 10:30 AM Apr 2nd, 11:45 AM

My Queer Relationship with Black Masculinity: A Refusal of Fear, Prejudice, and Racism

Room 221, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

This paper is an autoethnographic exploration of a southern white woman’s relationship to black masculinity. With an intersectional lens I investigate the effects of gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and age on my relationship with black men and masculinity. Each personal narrative presented throughout the paper illustrates a different location in my journey to understand race and willingness to reject racism. An important theme underlying each of the narratives is “white fear.” My narratives illustrate my rejection of white fear and racist tendencies in my relationships with black masculinity. I consider my relationship to black masculinity by interrogating three phrases and three corresponding events that have influenced my understanding and perception of blackness, particularly black maleness. Each phrase introduces a self-reflexive narrative, which depicts my relationship to black men. Self-reflexivity is important in discussions of race as it can yield greater understanding of oneself and Othered others. In totality, the narratives depict my closeness (both physical and emotional/mental) to black masculinity. Because white women are typically expected to be removed from black men/masculinity, my narratives depict both queerness and racial rebelliousness as I break white heteropatriarchal norms.