Blackness is all the rage! Whether negative or positive, it’s in the air swirling about. It of course has always lingered, but ever since Obama was elected President of these United States, racism, Blackness, “The Black Agenda,” and even Black love have been pushed further to the forefront. Yes, you heard me, Black love. It’s the first time I can remember a President and the First Lady’s love, affection and sexiness captured and talked about so much. I can’t decipher whether this is good or bad. Are Barack and Michelle viewed as anomalies or is it a truly beautiful thing to be recognize by (White) Americans? …Or is it an exhale of release that Black folks finally have an “untainted” view of Black love in the open? Hm..points to ponder.
I’m hoping to push the topic of Black sexuality a little further to the left today in honor of the very short but ever-so-important Black History Month and of course, my favorite topic sex(ulaity). Black love has traveled many racist configurations. It has been created, portrayed, force-fed and regurgitated to us and sometimes by us. Our bodies have been subjects, objects, taken, used, fetishized, lusted over and …the cycle begins again and again. Even when we attempt to journey our paths of what love, sex/ Black love/ Black sex means to us, we are captured by White ideals. We are held in spaces and shackled by systematic oppression that keep us unable to travel our path. In honor of Black History month, the beauty of Black love, the wonderfulness of Black sex and the Black Power we attain in realizing self love, I share the work and images of some Black/POC folks examining, creating space, living and loving Black Power and Sexuality!
Have you read the article, “Who’s Afraid of Black Sexuality?” By Stacey Patton. It takes this topic much further. A must read!
Have you read the book, “Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism” by Patricia Hill Collins? Its on my reading to-do list.
Patricia Hill Collins explores the way in which race, class, and gender organize our national social life via two related themes in the Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. On the one hand, she makes the case for a new strain of racism that is pervasive but harder to recognize than the old kind, which declared itself in slavery statutes and Jim Crow laws. Now that legalized racism is behind us, she argues, more subtle forms of racism remain as its legacy, both externally imposed upon and internally recreated by Black communities. She uses as evidence not only the statistical findings of social science (the high proportion of incarcerated young Black men, the dwindling resources of inner city schools) but also the ambiguous testimony of film and television, which reflects us back to ourselves while at the same time expressing ruling interests that distort the common good. On the other hand, she notes a tendency in Black political theory to abstract from issues of gender and sexuality, a striking example of which is the hostility of African American churches to homosexuality. The presences of Black LGBT people have been very hard to discern in public discussion and in the media, and gay Black men have been driven to lead double lives, a silence and omission implicated in the rise of HIV/AIDS among African Americans. A more inclusive
political awareness that grants a place to varieties of eros and committed love, she argues, might be more effective.
Do you know Dr.Aih Djehuti Herukhuti Khepera Ra Temu Seti Amen aka
Hameed Sharif Williams? Well, you should. He is the founder of Black Funk and the author of “Conjuring Black Funk.” He skillfully merges culture, sexuality and spirituality via a variety of mediums.
The online presence of Black Funk, a sexual cultural center focused on Indigenous/Pan African Disaporic/Native/Global South approaches to sexuality. This web site is a portal and community space for people who are interested in learning more about sexuality from an Indigenous, decolonizing, culturally-affirming perspective.
Have you experienced the work of Black Beat Inc? Have you had the pleasure of going to their annual conference? Well you are surely missing out.
Established in 2003, Black BEAT Inc. is an independent, social organization founded by African American members of the D/s, BDSM and Leather community nationwide. Our organization strives to cultivate safe, sane, consenting adults (21 years and older) with alternative lifestyle and sexuality interests via culture, education, development, support, and event planning.
Each year Black BEAT offers award acknowledgement to those loyal and progressive in their BDSM and Leather lifestyle contributions. Our family of patrons realize that an African American presence in kink has to be self supporting, thus, have collectively built the foundation upon which we proudly stand. Acknowledgement of African American Leadership in BDSM is important to facilitate strength to others that care to lead in the effort to maximize a greater BDSM community. We desire to continue to build a healthy understanding of the BDSM lifestyle that will add positive validation within our interpersonal actions and diverse relationships.
Collective organizational efforts via sexual diversity lectures, workshops and demonstrations are our focus. We strive to enhance social benefits for African Americans and all kink aware sexual minorities, creating a welcome atmosphere for all who share interest in our expansion, our conferences, or munch groups.
Black BEAT welcomes and encourages all races, ethnicity’s, and sexual preferences to join us for our unique conference experience.
Black BEAT is not a referral service, sex club, or swingers organization.
Did you know that a couple of People of Color were in the midst of creating an anthology called “Perverts of Color”? Yes in deed
they are. They also have a tumblr called Perverts of Color where you can witness the most wonderful images of diverse POC love, sex and kink.
Do you know of Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler‘s film? Yes? Wasn’t it fantastic! If you haven’t already witnessed “Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen,” you’re missing out. Its a must see. Find it, buy it and experience it!
“STILL BLACK: A Portrait of Black Transmen is brought to life by the stories of six thoughtful, eloquent and diverse transmen. Preachers, teachers, students and activists educate us simply by making their presence known. Each man brings a colorful and complex richness as he describes his relationship to himself, as well as others in his life — the cadence of his voice keeping in rhythm with how the speaker displays himself to the camera.
Director Kortney Ryan Ziegler, lets the subjects’ words and personalities dictate the images and film effects, and the black images on the white background play on the fact that issues concerning gender, race and sexuality are not and cannot be discussed in black and white terms. Clear voices speak on love, family, passing and sex.
The viewer is welcomed with vivid discussions of the connections they have to their bodies, social status and the consequences of being black, transgender and men. With fresh images of rarely seen black transmen, one is left with the recognition of their determination to live an honest and full life and the resilience to live visible lives. STILL BLACK: A Portrait of Black Transmen more than entertains, it gives the LGBT community an opportunity to learn about itself.”
Last but certainly not least, have you seen the work of AfroerotiK? It is an all gender/ sexuality/ relationship inclusive educational site. Surf the website and enjoy.
Have you ever been to a website that catered to all forms of sexuality? Most sites are geared towards one genre of sex, or they might have separate sections or categories for various tastes and preferences. AfroerotiK is a website that caters to men and women, individuals who are straight and gay, lesbian and transgendered, black and white, couples who are happily married, people who are single, vanilla and kinky, those who are enjoying the fruits of open/poly relationships and everything is all mixed up and coming led together. At AfroerotiK, we celebrate the beauty, sensuality, and passion of ALL people of African descent. We share more things in common than not. Our history, our culture, our struggles are what tie us together and need for liberation from oppressive and limiting mindsets is what unites us. Who we love and how we love are insignificant. What matters is that we are trying to connect, trying to find validation and intimacy with someone who will allow us to show our true selves and still find us inherently attractive.
This is a space for the open-minded and the liberal. This is a place for the not so open-minded and liberal to share, learn, grow, and explore. This is a place for people to talk about their fantasies and fetishes without feeling judged or denigrated. It doesn’t matter if you love someone who has the same genitals as you, who is a different color, ethnicity, or religion, if you have nappy hair or belong to the Tea Party, here is where you are free to be your most authentic sexual self. All people of color are welcomed to share their experiences and obstacles in defining their own sexuality and all majority folks are welcomed to listen, learn, respect, and admire an experience different than your own.
Erotic provocateur, racially-influenced humanist, relentless champion for the oppressed, and facilitator for social change, Scottie Lowe is the brain child, creative genius and the blood, sweat, and tears behind AfroerotiK. Intended to be part academic, part educational, and part sensual, she, yes SHE gave birth to the website and the company to provide people of African descent a place to escape the narrow-mined, stereotypical, limiting and oft-times degrading beliefs that abound about our sexuality. No, not all Black men are driven by lust by white flesh or to create babies and walk away. No, not all Black women are promiscuous welfare queens or willing to do any sexual favor for money. And as hard as it may be to believe, no, not all gay Black men are feminine, down low, or HIV positive. While being the first to admit that there are issues surrounding the collective Black sexuality, Scottie is putting everything on the table to people to discuss, debate, and dismantle stereotypes in a healthy exchange of ideas. She hopes to provide a more holistic, informed, and enlightened discussion of Black sexuality so that people of color have alternative to the one-dimensional caricatures society and the media force feed us down our throats and dreams of helping couples be more open, honest, and adventurous in their relationships.
This by no means is a comprehensive list. Its a teaser highlighting some of the work that’s out there. There are so many of us trying to spread the education via art, images, film, written material, workshops and lectures. We’ve been striving to create spaces, begin/continue dialogue, and love in Blackness with no shame or stereotypes. Black sexuality is Barack, Michelle and more. It’s queer, trans, heterosexual and asexual. It’s polyamorous, non-monogamous and monogamous. It’s disability. Its all shades and shapes. It’s poor and it is well off. It’s political. It’s private. It’s clean and dirty. Most of all, it is ours. It’s up to us to determine and define. We are getting…we have gotten… to the place(s) where we cannot allow others to shape the image of our lust/love/sex/desire/ fantasy and fucking. Its ours to do what we please. This is our power. Let’s enjoy it and spread the Black love!
Black Love! Black Sex! Black Kink! Black Power!
…I’m hoping folks can share and add to this list….and happy Black History Month!!!