Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Does contemporary r&b promote racist stereotypes?

Does contemporary r&b promote racist stereotypes?


'… a single, menacing question surrounds public articulations of Black sexual desire: How, given the ways that racism and racist oppression manifest in sexual violation, can Black people speak of the erotic? What many [ ] authors and editors repeatedly foreground is the undeniable relationship between the erotic and racist oppression. This connection does not mean that one must take pleasure from acts of racist and sexual abuse, but that Black erotica is concerned with and shaped by Black peoples’ memories, experiences, and narratives of racism. Because sexual violence historically has been a key mode through which bodies are racially marked and subjugated, then the realms of sexual intimacy, bodily pleasure, and love are important places where the struggles over recognition and affirmation
emerge .' Felice Blake , University of California, Santa Barbara , in From Margin to Centerfold: The (Mis)Recognition of Pleasure and Danger in Contemporary Black Erotic Fiction , page 3


Does the portrayed connection between sex and violence prevalent throughout contemporary hip-hop, rap, and even much r'n'b derive from a history of racism, and is this connection actually encoded into the core myth of the Middle Passage? Or, to express it differently, is historical racism so much a part of African-American models of identity that it has shaped what is seen as 'normal' black sexuality?

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