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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

“Will the Real Men Stand Up?”

“Will the Real Men Stand Up?”

Regulating Gender and Policing Sexuality through Black Common Sense

(p.108) Chapter 6 “Will the Real Men Stand Up?”
Black Sexual Economies

Marlon M. Bailey

Matt Richardson

University of Illinois Press

Given the ways that the exercise of racism and the ideology of black inferiority have depended upon entrenched images of black hypersexuality, it may be unsurprising that representations of intracommunal sexual fetishization and performance obscure the presence of racism. Nonetheless, such representations can also lead us to misinterpret how racial subordination is inculcated, negotiated, and challenged within the black community. The many responses to Karrine Steffans, her book Confessions of a Video Vixen, and the new cultural figure she represents (the video vixen, model, ‘jump off’, ‘groupie’, or ‘ho’) reveal the multiple investments in the representation of black women, and by extension, black men and their sexualities. Blake argues that although dominant discourses would lay blame for the circulation of misogynist images at the doorstep of the black community, understanding the formation of such a figure requires a far more complex reading. In addition to addressing the contemporary exercise of gendered racism, intracommunal discussions and debates about black sexuality (inspired by the video vixen) show that black popular culture can create new discursive spaces. Sometimes it also exposes intracommunal negotiations over the effects of racial subordination, the contemporary meanings of racial community, and the politics of black hypersexuality.

Keywords:   Video Vixen, respectability, hypersexuality, intimate antagonism, Black Cultural criticism, Karrine Steffans

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