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Pushing against notions of pleasure mediated by grammars structured in woundedness, Nash deploys racialized porn as a prism through which she can query about the complex and intersecting relationship between race, gender, and pleasure. She inquires whether or not Black feminist work on pornography and sexual representations of the Black female body might articulate a theoretical and Blacks sex in Douglas stance that refuses condemnation, racism, sexism, objectification, and injury as the primary reading. And, what might it mean to read racialized porn not for evidence of the wounds it inflicts but rather for moments of racialized excitement and pleasure?
Nash ponders, why not first explore the texts as sites where Black women experience pleasure — through performance, disruption, watching, being watched, and play? Nash suggests disrupting the prevailing logic, attending to the multiple and nuanced grammars of our own stories, and most of all, crafting an archive also oriented towards ecstasy.
To be clear, Nash is not claiming the paradigm of injury and recovery is unnecessary. Nor is she imagining pleasure as a site outside of historical and cultural wounds. Nash is clear pleasure is fraught terrain. It explores not pornography but the Black Church and select biblical and cultural texts to theorize the varieties of pleasure beyond injury, objectification, patriarchy, and heteronormativity.
Though two distinct cultural texts, both pornography and the Christian church and bible more broadly have been interpreted as inherently racist and sexist. However, this issue calls for rereading religious texts, practices, bodies, and institutions not solely for racism or sexism, but for pleasure.
It holds that the religious is also a site where women experience pleasure — within and beyond the biblical text, as performance, and through disruption, play, adornment, watching, being watched, and so on.
And more, as subjects within and beyond ecclesia.
That is, Black churchwomen experience and desire ecstasy and pleasure, too. This in mind, the issue asks what might a theological stance that makes pleasure its primary category of analysis look like and what might it look like to read religious texts for moments of excitement? Each article deposits into an archive oriented towards ecstasy by disrupting grammars and inserting new ones.
Simultaneously, the issue inquires, how might narratives of pleasure be found in narratives of pain? Not to sexualize trauma but to bracket enjoyment. In short, the issue asserts that an archive oriented towards ecstasy does not have to negate or vacate the religious in order to construct a grammar of theology and pleasure.
Rather, it aims to take pleasure seriously by constructing new vocabularies from within. Simultaneously, it includes a reading of womanist, Black theological, and Black feminist articulations on Black women, the Black female body, and pleasure. While such distinctions initially aimed to provide Black dignity post-emancipation, Black Church politics of respectability failed to challenge colonial discourses on sexual deviance and instead Blacks sex in Douglas them, making the Black nuclear project 5 aspirational and quintessentially representative of Black racial progress and Black freedom.
Black feminist Cheryl Clarke asserts, Like all Americans, black Americans live in a sexually repressive culture. And we have made all manner of compromise regarding our sexuality in order to live here. We have expended much energy trying to debunk the racist mythology which says our sexuality is depraved. This issue was first envisioned in after Dr. In similar fashion, within the Black Blacks sex in Douglas it is widely believed that religious experience and participation should result in a transformative encounter that le to a demonstrable ethics of godlike — not of this world — conduct and wilful domination of the flesh.
Nakedness distinguished between white women and African bondswomen, with dress ifying free status, socio-economic class, labour, and morality. Covering, then, came to denote humanity, piety, and virtue. Jones, Kimberly Russaw, and I provide critiques here.
This issue is indebted to womanist theologians such as Douglas, Katie G. Such analyses produced a framework for pleasure politics in ways that Black feminists, second wavers in particular, had not. Meaning, womanist theo-ethical analyses on the Black body as sexual and sacred and part and parcel of Black full embodiedness, freedom, and agency, constructs creative space for thinking about and expanding the discourse on a range of pleasures. In unison, the work herein stands on the shoulders of Black feminism. Womanists and Black feminists have necessarily produced catalogues of injury and recovery, placing particular emphasis on racism, sexism, classism, white supremacy, oppression, sexualization, objectification, resistance, and survival.
However, Black feminists in particular, and largely, though not solely, third wavers, for example, Nash, Ann DuCille, T. In this way, while womanists have explored sexual agency in cultural texts like the Blues and Hip Hop, Black feminists have collectively gone where womanist theo-ethicists have not — yet.
The latter notes a progressive Black sexual politics embedded not in respectability, racial uplift, or sin, but in ecstasy. However, dissimilar to Nash, this issue foregrounds ecstasy and pleasure, but holds each, along with cartographies of excess and injury, in tension. The discourse on sex, pleasure, eroticism, and ecstasy, is still developing in Black religion and theology. The ground floor that explores the conundrum between a sexually repressive religious culture and a sexually expressive cultural saturation requires more critical labour.
And such labour, though it foregrounds ecstasy and pleasure, acknowledges that Black women remain ground zero for violence — rhetorical, physical, sexual, and otherwise. Specifically, this issue makes the case for ecstasy, the erotic, pleasure, honest bodies, honest talk, power, autonomy, agency, desire, and bodily integrity while resisting violence, patriarchy, heteronormativity, coerced monogamy, panopticism, surveillance, policing, governmentality, respectability, and sexual dominance.
Of course, this work is not without its challenges. First, the writers herein are cisgender middle-class at minimum, by way of higher education Black women. The intersections where race, class, sex, and gender meet non-gender conforming, transgender, or non-binary analyses are predominantly absent, as are discourses on ableism, disability, empire, and diaspora.
A second challenge has to do with Black Church theology and biblical interpretation, particularly texts and ideas on marriage and sex. A fourth challenge involves the ways in which Black gender ideology has historically been entwined with sexual dominance and ideas.
This issue unapologetically, progressively, and loudly pushes against the grain, but it in no way claims to do it all. Rather, it is an introductory body of work that sits on a continuum while taking seriously womanist theologian Katie G. Tamura Lomax is an Independent Scholar. She received her Ph. Black Cultural Studies. Manigault-Bryant and Carol B.
Lomax is a Managing Editor of the series. Because she is reading racialized pornography and sees race as an erotic project, which shapes and limits pleasures and sexual imaginations, she notes ecstasy for her purposes as explicitly Blacks sex in Douglas. However, ecstasy articulates the possibilities of female pleasure within and beyond the phallic economy. For Nash, ecstasy includes the erotic, fantasy, and pleasure Black feminist Audre Lorde would say ecstasy, fantasy, and pleasure are all included in the power of the erotic.
For Nash, pleasure exists within inequality, violence, pain, and systems of domination, and because of this, it may also function to mask inequality and render hierarchies invisible. Yet, pleasure also notes a locus of possibilities. In fact, her distinctions are not always clear. To be sure, subjects operate both within and beyond social systems. Ecstasy is not always racialized, but neither is pleasure. More, her foregrounding of ecstasy, and to a lesser degree, pleasure, fantasy, and the erotic, is pivotal to this issue, though the authors herein have taken liberty to foreground pleasure — not in opposition to ecstasy, but interchangeable with it.
Specifically, it notes how most descriptors of Black womanhood come accompanied by a stereotype. Whereas structures of dominance such as race, class, gender, and sexuality tell us what to think about our own bodies, honest bodies foreground how one feels. Sexual identities, limitations, and experiences are largely defined within the latter.
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Advanced search. Black Theology An International Journal. Submit an article Journal home. s Published online: 09 Jul Bibliography Butler, Anthea. No More Sheets Part 2! Anthony B. Pinn and Dwight N. Hopkins11 — New York : Palgrave Macmillan New York : Routledge The Varieties of Religious Experience. Durham : Duke University Press More Share Options. Related research People also read lists articles that other readers of this article have read. People also read Recommended articles Cited by.Blacks sex in Douglas
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