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Spectacular GirlsMedia Fascination and Celebrity Culture$
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Sarah Projansky

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770214

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770214.001.0001

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Sakia Gunn Is a Girl

Sakia Gunn Is a Girl

Queer African American Girlhood in Local and Alternative Media

(p.155) 5 Sakia Gunn Is a Girl
Spectacular Girls

Sarah Projansky

NYU Press

This chapter explores the local and alternative coverage of Sakia Gunn, an African American lesbian who was murdered in Newark, New Jersey, in a 2003 bias crime. Although Gunn is not a high-profile mediated girl like those previously discussed, she made the cover of newspapers. Her death led to sustained and continuing public discussion in various media; her murder sparked public debate and scandal; and she was posthumously adored, mourned, and celebrated. Gunn is considered a spectacular girl in alternative locations, as none of this attention happened in a sustained way in mass-market mainstream media sources. As an explicitly queer African American girl, Gunn is relatively atypical in the media, yet the chapter argues that she is a spectacular girl nevertheless, that one can see her if one looks to media texts other than grocery store magazines, girl films, and world-class athletes.

Keywords:   Sakia Gunn, lesbians, queerness, African American girl, alternative girl, local media, alternative media

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