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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

Cheryl Clarke’s Clit Agency

Cheryl Clarke’s Clit Agency

or, An Erotic Reading of Living as a Lesbian

Chapter:
(p.216) Chapter 13 Cheryl Clarke’s Clit Agency
Source:
Black Sexual Economies
Author(s):

David B. Green Jr.

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042645.003.0014

This chapter focuses on Noah’s Arc (Logo, 2005-2006) a television show featuring four gay men of color that aired for two seasons on the gay lifestyle-oriented cable channel Logo. It argues that Noah's Arc works within the popular cultural genre of the dramedy to engage with—while also contradicting and disrupting—new normativities of race, sexuality and its intersections. First it contextualizes the anxieties around black middle class heteronormativity and outlines some of the ways in which these anxieties have been negotiated through black televisuality. Then it provides an interpretation of Noah’s Arc from a queer of color perspective to understand its problematic framing of race, sexuality and its intersections as mostly an intra-racial problem of gay black masculinities and femininities. Given that the program has been criticized for foregrounding its characters’ negotiation of gender and sexuality at the expense of their race, it theorizes the program’s use of media self-reflexivity—in other words, its own representations of the television and film industry—to complicate its message about the roles of race and sexuality in the culture industry. Finally, it examines digital reception of the program to understand the way differently positioned audiences—primarily queer men of color—derived pleasure from the program’s campy aesthetics and melodramatic excess.

Keywords:   televisuality, media self-reflexivity, camp aesthetics, gay black femininities, gay black masculinities, Noah’s Arc

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