Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-03-03



Book Showcase: Black Sexual Politics

This article shared 7491 times since Tue Nov 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Book Showcase: Black Sexual Politics

—Patricia Hill Collins ( Routledge; $17.95 )

Topics related to race, gender or politics can be fairly controversial by themselves. Discussing all three simultaneously can create a volcanic mix that might prove to be too hot for some.

It is this incendiary olio that is the focus of Black Sexual Politics, in which Patricia Hill Collins rejects the approach of self-help books and argues that becoming empowered involves learning to think for oneself.

Collins contends that modern American popular culture capitalizes on and magnifies Black sexuality ( e.g., Black men as Mandingo warrior lovers ) , as seen in everything from rap videos to paternity tests on syndicated TV series like The Jerry Springer Show. The result, she says, is a new type of racism that involves Blacks being cast as hypersexual beings. In order to confront social inequality, Collins says that Blacks need an analysis of masculinity and femininity that deals with the connection between sexual politics, gender ideology and empowerment.

The author examines the impact of what she says are distorted social images by examining several issues, including sex and youth; interracial romance; the hip-hop world; sexual violence; and HIV/AIDS. For example, in the chapter Why We Can't Wait: Black Sexual Politics and the Challenge of HIV/AIDS, Collins declares that the media masks structural barriers ( such as institutionalized rape ) by using visuals of African-American masculinity and femininity to stigmatize straights with a promiscuous Black hyper-heterosexuality and pathologize the sexual practices of LGBT Black people.

Not even the iconic Oprah Winfrey is safe from Collins's analyses. In a chapter entitled Get Your Freak On, Collins lauds Winfrey's impact, saying that the talk-show queen's success provides a stamp of endorsement ... that goes far beyond any expertise she might possess on any given topic. However, the author also contends that even though Winfrey urges people to change themselves to make their problems disappear, the advice stops short of connecting those changes with necessary resources and opportunities.

Although there is no separate chapter that focuses exclusively on the LGBT community, pro-gay rhetoric is sprinkled liberally throughout the book. At one point, Collins calls for a [ B ] lack liberatory politics that affirms [ B ] lack lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sexualities. Elsewhere, she opines that women, [ LGBT ] people, people living with HIV ... and others deemed to be an embarrassment to the broader African-American community ... become targets of silencing, persecution and/or abuse.

In Black Sexual Politics, Collins weaves together such topics as history, sociology and even biology to present her case that there is a new type of racism—any book that invokes Cornel West's assertion that [ w ] hite fear of [ B ] lack sexuality is a basic ingredient of white racism is not likely to tiptoe around the subject.

Collins is a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park and is the Charles Phelps Taft Emeritus Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at the University of Cincinnati.

This article shared 7491 times since Tue Nov 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Copyright © 2021 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.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.