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Building the Black Arts MovementHoyt Fuller and the Cultural Politics of the 1960s$
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Jonathan Fenderson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042430

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042430.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

Abandoning the Past

Abandoning the Past

Effacing History and Confronting Silence

(p.147) 5 Abandoning the Past
Building the Black Arts Movement

Jonathan Fenderson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter pierces the existing scholarly silence around Hoyt Fuller’s sexuality by exploring how sexual politics shaped both the life and afterlife of the editor. It maps the ways that silences around Fuller’s sexuality have been (de)constructed across time and space. It identifies exactly who helped manufacture these silences, speculates about factors that led to their production, gestures to the contexts out of which they emerged, and illuminates rare moments when some of these silences were punctured. By mapping the production (and shattering) of silences, the chapter offers insight into the ways movement activists responded to Fuller’s sexuality. His intimate life--as a man who had sex with other men (and women)--troubles conventional wisdom about the movement and Black nationalism, more broadly. The chapter argues that instead of being simplistic, dogmatic, or uniform in their thinking, movement participants thought about sexuality in complex, varied, and inconstant ways.

Keywords:   Sexuality, Archive, History, Black Arts movement, Black nationalism, Silence, historical production, Black Queer Studies, homophobia

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