chapter  8
13 Pages

Toward a Genealogy of Black Female Sexuality: The Problematic of Silence

Sexuality has become one of the most visible, contentious and spectacular features of modem life in the United States during this century. Controversies over sexual politics and sexual behavior reveal other tensions in U.S. society, particularly those around changing patterns of work, family organization, disease control, and gender relations. In the wake of Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and the more recent murder charges brought against football star 0. J. Simpson, African Americans continue to be used as the terrain upon which contested notions about race, gender, and sexuality are worked out. Yet, while black men have increasingly been the focus of debates about sexuality in the academy and in the media, the specific ways in which black women figure in these discourses has remained largely unanalyzed and untheorized.