Excavating Black Queer Thought: A Pride Bibliography II

Philadelphia’s Pride Flag (Wikimedia Commons)

In honor of Pride Month 2020, I wanted to extend the list of texts from the bibliography offered last year, ranging from traditional academic texts to cultural productions that center Black queerness, illuminating the multiplicity of experiences that exist within Black LGBTQIA+ life and excavating histories of Black queer life and thought that have been intentionally excluded and overlooked. Though this list is in no way an exhaustive one, comprising all texts in some way related to Black queerness, it includes some texts that are foundational to the field(s) of Black Queer Studies and Queer of Color Critique, as well as more recent works that build on the theories and frameworks offered in the foundational texts from a variety of angles. I hope that this list reflects the ways in which Black feminist and Black queer studies have created and propagated alternative epistemologies — ways of knowing and producing knowledge(s) — within institutions that often deem personal narratives and experiences insignificant and outside in the hostile world.

Furthermore, this list reflects my deep belief that we must refuse a liberatory framework that urges Black trans, non-binary, and queer folks to put their Blackness first by somehow disentangling their Blackness from their gender and sexual identities — to somehow prioritize their Blackness for the sake of Black “collective” liberation. The presumption that we can ALL get free by diminishing and thereby perpetuating the violences that Black trans, non-binary, and queer folks experience within their communities is absolutely false. It is urgent that we be diligent and intentional in resisting the obfuscation of homophobic and transphobic violences that remain possible if the proclamation of “Black Lives Matter” hinges on an impossible disentanglement. 

Documentaries, Films, & TV Shows

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Emerald Rutledge

Emerald Rutledge is an English PhD student at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include 20th Century African American literature, Black queer literature, Black queer theory, and Black feminisms. Follow her on Twitter @emeraldfaith.