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Brer Soul and the Mythic Being

Brer Soul and the Mythic Being

Toward a Queer Logic of Dark Sense

(p.76) 3 Brer Soul and the Mythic Being
Tavia Nyong'o
NYU Press

Challenging accounts of black gender and sexuality that equate radicalism with misogynistic and patriarchal values, this chapter looks to the subversive cinema and performance art of the 1960s for prefigurations of the gender and sex nonconformity of today. Placing in counterpoint the theater and cinema of Melvin van Peebles and the performance and conceptual art of Adrian Piper, this chapter foregrounds the role of a funk epistemology in both cases. Contemporary queer and transgender art and aesthetics can only gain, this chapter argues, by acknowledging these works as sources of fabulation.

Keywords:   Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (film), blaxploitation, performance art, Piper, Adrian, van Peebles, Melvin, funk, transgender studies, queer studies

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