Cover image for Black sexual politics : African Americans, gender, and the new racism
Black sexual politics : African Americans, gender, and the new racism
Hill Collins, Patricia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, [2004]

Physical Description:
ix, 374 pages ; 24 cm
Introduction: no turning back -- 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 -- 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 -- 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.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.86 .C58167 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E185.86 .C58167 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In Black 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.

Author Notes

Patricia Hill Collinsis Distinguished University Professor at University of Maryland. She is author of Black Feminist Thought, which won the C. Wright Mills Award of the American Sociological Association, as well as Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search forJustice. She lectures widely in the U.S. and abroad.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Drawing on vivid images of hypersexual blacks and the sociological theses of strong black women and weak black men, Collins explores an astonishing range of ideas and images through history, sociology, and popular culture. Rather than debate the dominance of race versus sex in the history of social injustice to black men and women, Collins offers a theory of intersectionality, viewing race, gender, and sexuality together. She explores the social and personal implications of historical images (black men as rapists deserving of lynching and black women so immoral it was impossible to rape them) and more current concerns about the influence of prison culture on urban youth culture that glorifies connections between sex and violence. Demonstrating how the politics of race has traditionally neglected concerns about gender and sexual orientation, Collins explores a range of issues, advocating that black people ready up some honesty and redefine notions of masculinity and femininity. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

In a book of sophisticated critical theory that could be used as a tool for antiracist political action, Collins (Charles Phelps Taft Professor of Sociology, Univ. of Cincinnati; Black Feminist Thought) asserts that "racism and sexism are deeply intertwined, and racism can never be solved without seeing and challenging sexism." Thus, African Americans must examine how sexual politics within black communities either reproduce or resist forms of racism. Like Stuart Hall's Representation: Cultural Representations & Signifying Practices or Mark Anthony Neal's Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic, this well-written text argues that images from popular culture shape ideas about black gender. For example, traditional stereotypes such as "the breeder woman" found in the slave-holding South have been reworked into the "welfare queen" of today's inner cities. Collins's razor-sharp analysis is unfortunately hampered by an exclusive focus on black/white social interactions, whereas contemporary American society is marked by multiculturalism. This is, however, an important work. Strongly recommend for public and academic libraries.-Katherine C. Adams, Bowdoin Coll., Brunswick, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This work examining the historical connection and subsequent construction of sexuality and sexual politics within and as represented through African American culture specifically analyzes concepts of strong black women/weak black men, and notions of "authenticity" for African Americans and its tension with gender, class, race, and sexual orientation. Collins (Brandeis Univ.) explores these concepts further in the realms of athletics, hip-hop and rap music, entertainment (specifically films and television programs), politics, work, sexual violence, and historical periods. In constructing a new gender ideology, the author deconstructs prevailing, strangling, normalizing, and naturalizing hegemonic social powers, especially by noting detailed acts of resistance and resilience by both African American women and men. Her book compares favorably with and greatly expands the framework established in Johnnetta Betsch Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall's Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities, (CH, Oct'03). As with Collins's other works, this well-written text allows for comprehension of complex, difficult topics without bogging down in unnecessarily tedious sociological language. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. K. M. Jamieson Ashland University

Table of Contents

Introduction: No Turning Back
I African Americans and the New Racism
1 Why Black Sexual Politics?
2 The Past Is Ever Present: Recognizing the New Racism
3 Prisons for Our Bodies, Closets for Our Minds: Racism, Heterosexism, and Black Sexuality
II Rethinking Black Gender Ideology
4 Get Your Freak On: Sex, Babies, and Images of Black Femininity
5 Booty Call: Sex, Violence, and Images of Black Masculinity
6 Very Necessary: Redefining Black Gender Ideology
III Toward a Progressive Black Sexual Politics
7 Assume the Position: The Changing Contours of Sexual Violence
8 No Storybook Romance: How Race and Gender Matter
9 Why We Can't Wait: Black Sexual Politics and the Challenge of HIV/AIDS
Afterword: The Power of a Free Mind