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The Delectable NegroHuman Consumption and Homoeroticism within US Slave Culture$
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Vincent Woodard, Justin A. Joyce, and Dwight McBride

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814794616

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814794616.001.0001

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The Hungry Nigger

The Hungry Nigger

Chapter:
(p.209) 6 The Hungry Nigger
Source:
The Delectable Negro
Author(s):

Vincent Woodard

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814794616.003.0007

This concluding chapter examines the historical ties between the black male orifice and a largely unspoken politics of interiority. The eroticized anal and oral orifices, in and of themselves, have not constituted a problem for black cultural formation. In fact, black people have imagined these regions of the male body as surface structures, as demarcating and indecipherable zones of experience. This mode of imagining has facilitated black men and women of the 1960s equating same-sex practices with seeds of a racial death wish implanted during slavery. The chapter uses Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987) to discuss black male interiority in slave history. It highlights the controversial chain-gang oral sex scene, which have received responses that range from accusations of homophobia to a lambasting of Morrison's “valorization of black suffering” to reading the scene as a psychoanalytic encapsulation of black male erotic life on the plantation.

Keywords:   black male orifice, interiority, black cultural formation, racial death, slavery, Toni Morrison, Beloved, homophobia, black male erotic life, plantation

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