Cover art by Xavier Roache
This issue on Black Queer and Trans* Aesthetics is aimed at collecting avant-garde writing from Black queer trans scholars on the aesthetics of Black everyday life, Black art, and Black critical thought. The essays in this special collection are all focused on 20th and 21st century US Black art, frameworks, and aesthetics. The essay topics include archives of Black femme gender, unfinished music demos as sites of Black queerness, the relationship between bafflement and Blackqueer futurity in the work of Ayana Jackson, ethnographic work on Black queer kinship in San Francisco, and a review essay focused on the living archive of Lyle Ashton Harris.
The essays range in their theoretical and linguistic denseness, but all strive for accessibility to a general public in order to build an approachable body of work for, by, and about Black queer trans people across the Black diaspora. These stories of Black queer trans lives and aesthetic work are much-needed additions to the growing body and long history of Black queer trans artists, activists, lovers, scholars, thinkers, and organizers: our bodies, flesh, thoughts, and contributions matter in a world spinning on the axes of anti-blackness, transmisogyny, trans-antagonism, misogynynoir, and queerphobia.
These essays are appropriate for high school, college, and graduate students, as well as the general public interested in the intersection between blackness, queerness, transness, and aesthetic forms. We invite you to hold in-person salons, conversations, social media debates, and invite any of the writers or guest editors to speak with you and your community about the content of this issue.
– Elliott H. Powell and Shanté Paradigm Smalls
For a limited time, the introduction by Elliott H. Powell and Shanté Paradigm Smalls and “Play Aunties and Dyke Bitches: Gender, Generation, and the Ethics of Black Queer Kinship” by Savannah Shange are free to download and read.
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Upcoming 2019 issues include…
- Black Masculinities and the Matter of Vulnerability
- Black Performance issues 1 & 2
Our 2020 volume, which is also our 50th anniversary volume, is slated to include…