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Black Sexual EconomiesRace and Sex in a Culture of Capital$
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Adrienne D. Davis and BSE Collective

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042645

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042645.001.0001

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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: 05 March 2021

“Hannah Elias Talks Freely”

“Hannah Elias Talks Freely”

Interracial Sex and Black Female Subjectivity in Turn-of-the-Century New York City

(p.59) Chapter 3 “Hannah Elias Talks Freely”
Black Sexual Economies

Cheryl D. Hicks

University of Illinois Press

The image of the buck or Mandingo, which has historically found expression in advertising, popular culture, science, news, law, and policy, effects a powerful purchase on our national psyche. The Mandingo’s figurative though sustained life illuminates the ways in which myths about black men’s bodies incite particular kinds of fantasies and instantiate specific relationships of power. Perhaps the most insistent archetype of black masculinity, the Mandingo has been mobilized by a number of actors, including black men who have sought to defy, appropriate, or reinvent the image. Framing black men as possessing a primitive, unquenchable, and even dangerous sexuality –a sexuality that thwarts prohibitions and demands containment– the Mandingo is an ideological construction invented by white heteropatriarchy to effectively police the racial-sexual border. Embedded in the Mandingo construct are potent opposing energies: racial hatred and racialized desire. How then does the mobilization of the Mandingo in contemporary cuckold pornography speak to the desire for and fear of black men as objects for pornographic consumption by white men and women? This chapter investigates the sexual economy of sub-cultural, amateur pornography in which black men are figured as BBC (big black cock) studs central to the fetishistic fantasies of white couples. Highlighting the multiple and mobile desires, relations, and labors evident in “cuckolding socialities”, this chapter looks at pornography as a market for black men’s sex work, and as a space of discipline and containment as well as of queer possibility.

Keywords:   black masculinity, pornography, racial fetishism, sex work, interracial sex

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