In this special double issue of GLQ, queer theory meets critical race theory, transnationalism, and Third World feminisms in analyses of the Black queer diaspora. Contributors apply social science methodologies to theories born out of the humanities to produce innovative, humane, and expansive readings of on-the-ground social conditions around the world. The contributors to this issue draw on radical Black and women-of-color feminisms to examine the embodied experience of the Black queer diaspora.
From the Introduction:
“The work of the Black/Queer/Diaspora Work(ing) Group is to consider the states of diasporic black queer projects, in the context of various shifts in Empire(s) and affiliations. Stretching toward a loving global embrace, and focused on expanding capacity to do this work, our nascent offering of this special issue of GLQ is a small refection of this ambition. The contributions that follow form lines in the architecture of back/queer/diaspora work, which we will draw together. These brilliant and beautiful authors provide models toward how to best represent our research subjects, and ourselves when our eyes/hands/ears must necessarily ‘settle’ on a surface (to write, sing, act, do), but also must mine multi-dimensions, experiences, and shores. Agard-Jones suggests a new metaphor in this issue –sand. How many dunes to cross, as our bodies ache with desire? How many friends can we wrap ourselves around as we “chat back” dying and death in circles of belonging and care, like those Gill offers us? The infectious, unrelenting beat of Kwaito in a South African township provides the soundtrack for scandalous performances of black queerness on the radio and on the streets of Jo’burg in Livermon’s account. Across the continent and overseas, to Scotland, brass horns blare. Richardson listens in on a group of black men in a coastal town of Scotland, playing black masculinity loudly– improvising on a tired old theme to deafen cries of their exclusion. Now, back in time once more, and across another ocean, across the North American continent, Tinsley invents black and other women of color who wield not only salty glances at each other, but also rivet guns vibrating with the power to create new worlds, facing East. Through it all the Ife head flies on, simultaneously in Nigeria, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Tejas, Miami, and all the places we visit here– appearing in plastic, and sequins and rusted soda caps: dis/figured and refigured through refuse— storytelling and divining, all at once. Here, the threads of our mourning clothes are laid down/bare.” (Jafari S Allen. 2012. “Black/Queer/Diaspora at the Current Conjuncture” 18(2-3): 211-248)