Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS Kemi Adeyemi on 'Feels Right: Black Queer Women and the Politics of Partying in Chicago'
by Carrie Maxwell
2022-09-12

This article shared 662 times since Mon Sep 12, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Author and University of Washington Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Assistant Professor Kemi Adeyemi is out with a new book, Feels Right: Black Queer Women and the Politics of Partying in Chicago. The book, set to be released Sept. 30, follows Adeyemi's 2021 debut co-edited book, Queer Nightlife.

"I lived in Chicago from 2008 to 2016, [and] I got my doctoral and master's degrees in performance studies at Northwestern University," said Adeyemi. "I think that is important and really influences how I do my work, conduct research and think about my writing. It influences all aspects of my critical thinking and my investment in using the body as a primary site of analysis."

Adeyemi told Windy City Times she wanted to write this book to "document the kinds of partying that I was involved in, and that were parts of my life in the city that were underrepresented in the academy [i.e. colleges and universities]. I wanted to put some words to the kinds of experiences I was having. And then hopefully it serves as a launching point for other people to stage these conversations about nightlife in their own cities and towns."

Much of the writing on LGBTQ+ life in Chicago is situated in Northalsted (previously called Boystown), Adeyemi added, because that neighborhood is an anchor for the community. While Adeyemi was living in Chicago, she said Northalsted was not accommodating to her during the nighttime hours when she was looking to be among fellow LGBTQ+ people, and especially Black queer women. This revelation and finding out about the existence of nightlife spaces for Black queer women in other Chicago neighborhoods became the driving forces for her write this book.

When asked to describe her book to those with no knowledge of the topic and/or Chicago's LGBTQ+ nighttime scene, Adeyemi said, "I think the dance floor is an important site where people practice and negotiate their relationship to Chicago. What does it mean to be a part of the city, to be a Black queer person in the city, to be a part of the city's nightlife community?"

The book focuses on the free Slo 'Mo: Slow Jams for Homos and Their Fans monthly party's journey from The Whistler bar and, later, The Slippery Slope bar in Logan Square and then SoHo House in the West Loop and finally back to The Whistler; Party Noire, which took place about four times a year (with a fee for entry) at the Promontory in Hyde Park near University of Chicago; and the free E N E R G Y: A Party for Women + Their Buddies every Sunday at the Black-owned venue Tantrum in the South Loop.

Adeyemi weaved in the changes that were happening in the neighborhoods where the parties were taking place over those eight years. She said there were additional parties happening in other Chicago neighborhoods outside of Northalsted that she attended, however, she decided to feature these parties because of the specific cliental who came to those venues.

"They helped me stage a conversation about the relationships between nightlife, Black life, Black nightlife and the urban development in the neighborhoods in question," said Adeyemi.

In the chapter about the E N E R G Y party, Adeyemi focused more heavily on neoliberal capitalism and generational wealth, and the ways they affect Black queer spaces.

"The E N E R G Y chapter was speaking most directly, hopefully toward the academy, toward how colleges and universities read, interpret and assign writing about Black people," said Adeyemi. "I wanted to take a moment to have a conversation with my colleagues, peers and students. What are we doing? Why do we do this? Why and when do we turn toward Black people? What do we hope to get from studying them? What do we hope to get out of them?

"Sometimes that relationship can be extractive—we just take and then we run and then we do something else with their stories. How can we reconfigure our expectations for the people that give us their stories so that we can do our work? Can we make that encounter feel more ethical? What are my expectations for these people, who have given over their lives so that I can write this specific book?"

In terms of Adeyemi's research process, she told Windy City Times that she was already going to these parties for fun. When it came time to focus on the book, Adeyemi started to interview other partygoers, DJs and party organizers, adding that the data in the book came from her own observations of the parties, those interviews and reading other works.

Adeyemi also paid attention to local Chicago news, follow the parties social media accounts to see how they were marketing and advertising themselves and go to the bars that the parties were hosted on nights when they did not take place.

"I would take notes while I was at the parties as well as after the parties," said Adeyemi. "Then I would write out these notes along with my photo and video footage to jog my memory. I used that data to help me be in conversation with the people I was interviewing. Then I re-read those interviews to draw out the quotes for the book."

While interviewing the party organizers, DJs and attendees Adeyemi said she was surprised with "how unsatisfied people are across the board" about going out at night and partying yet people are still attending these events hoping things will be different, that they will have fun and be a part of a community.

In terms of Adeyemi's biggest takeaway from writing this book, she told Windy City Times that people are "eager to feel like they are part of something, have a say in how their night lives take place, a say in how the city of Chicago takes place and how they are treated in the city. People want a sense of ownership and impact over the environments that they are in, a say over how they are governed, for lack of a better word, so that they can have some sense of control over their own bodies and feelings in any space that they are moving through."

Adeyemi also called on everyone who inhabits these nightlife spaces to "tip your bartender, party organizer and DJ. Acknowledge the very hard work that they do to make us feel good because sometimes they are underappreciated. Give some love to the people that help you have your own nightlife."


This article shared 662 times since Mon Sep 12, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Russian court sets Brittney Griner's appeal date
2022-10-03
Brittney Griner's date in front of an appeals court has been set. ...


Gay News

BOOKS Events related to 'Last Call Chicago' on Oct. 10 and 12
2022-10-03
Last Call Chicago: A History of 1,001 LGBTQ-Friendly Taverns, Haunts & Hangouts is a historical account of LGBTQ+ venues in the Windy City. The book's authors, Rick Karlin and St. Sukie de la Croix, are journalists ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY MONTH 'Memory Book' details history of 1970s-era LGBTQ+ attorneys in U.S.
2022-10-01
Stephen Lachs remembers the 1970s as being a particularly wonderful era in the history of the LGBTQ+-liberation movement. Lachs, 83, was the first out LGBTQ+ person appointed to a judgeship in the United States. Tapped by ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart fall benefit on Oct. 15
2022-09-30
Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St., will hold its fall benefit on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. "Unboxing Queer History LIVE!" will be an in-person event to celebrate and support its mission to ...


Gay News

SPORTS Soccer legend leaves drug company; women's team in gold-medal game
2022-09-30
Lesbian soccer legend Abby Wambach told ESPN that she intends to fully sever ties with a concussion drug company that is backed by former NFL quarterback Brett Favre and is at the center of a Mississippi ...


Gay News

MONKEYPOX/MPXV More than 100 groups call for increased action
2022-09-28
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) penned a letter to elected leaders calling for more funding and action to help stop the monkeypox (MPXV) outbreak. More than 100 LGBTQ+, health ...


Gay News

Hannah Gadsby signs deal with Netflix
2022-09-26
Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning comedian Hannah Gadsby signed a multi-title deal with Netflix, per a press release. The deal includes a new, hour-long special from Gadsby, recorded on the Australian leg of their Body of Work ...


Gay News

ART Chicago artist part of German exhibit 'Queering the Crip'
2022-09-25
"Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer"—called the first international exhibit exploring the multiple historical, cultural and political intersections of queerness and disability—will take place through Jan. 30, 2023 at Berlin's ...


Gay News

WORLD Bias claims, Qatar policy, AHF pledge, drag queen dies at 28
2022-09-25
People of color have accused several LGBTQ+ venues in the heart of the Gay Village in Manchester, England, of racism and racial prejudice, VICE noted. Ten Black, Asian and Latinx people who identify as lesbian, gay, ...


Gay News

Out comic/writer Sam Jay talks career ahead of Wicker Park performance
2022-09-22
Stand-up comic and Emmy-nominated writer Sam Jay will be performing at The Den Theatre, located in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, on Sept. 23-24. The first Black lesbian writer in Saturday Night Live's history, Jay is a ...


Gay News

Artemis Singers to present 'Samhain - Encounters through the Veil' Oct. 29
2022-09-22
-- From a press release - CHICAGO─Artemis Singers, www.artemissingers.org, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present a unique, timely concert, "Samhain - Encounters through the Veil," about the time of year when we reflect on those who have gone before and honor t ...


Gay News

BOOKS 2022 #BannedTogether virtual auction taking place Sept. 22-25
2022-09-22
On Sept. 22-25, non-profit organization Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP) will hold its second annual #BannedTogether virtual auction to raise $10,000 to send 800 LGBTQ+-inclusive books to elementary schools across the United States and Canada. The ...


Gay News

COMEDY Cameron Esposito at The Den Theatre on Dec. 30-31
2022-09-22
The Den Theatre is welcoming back LGBTQ+ comedian Cameron Esposito, performing two stand-up shows on Dec. 30-31, 2022 on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Esposito (a onetime Windy City Times 30 Under 30 honoree) ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign makes history with new president
2022-09-20
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF) announced that Kelley Robinson (she/her) will become the organization's ninth president—and the first Black, queer woman to lead the ...


Gay News

Dozens arrested at EuroPride march in Serbia
2022-09-19
Serbian police arrested more than 60 people as thousands of LGBTQI+ activists turned out for Belgrade's EuroPride march on Sept. 17—despite a governmental ban, The Guardian reported. The event had been intended as the culmination of ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.