In Jezebel Unhinged Tamura Lomax traces the use of the jezebel trope in the black church and in black popular culture, showing how it is pivotal to reinforcing men's cultural and institutional power to discipline and define black girlhood and womanhood. Drawing on writing by medieval thinkers and travelers, Enlightenment theories of race, the commodification of women's bodies under slavery, and the work of Tyler Perry and Bishop T. D. Jakes, Lomax shows how black women are written into religious and cultural history as sites of sexual deviation. She identifies a contemporary black church culture where figures such as Jakes use the jezebel stereotype to suggest a divine approval of the "lady" while condemning girls and women seen as "hos." The stereotype preserves gender hierarchy, black patriarchy, and heteronormativity in black communities, cultures, and institutions. In response, black women and girls resist, appropriate, and play with the stereotype's meanings. Healing the black church, Lomax contends, will require ceaseless refusal of the idea that sin resides in black women's bodies, thus disentangling black women and girls from the jezebel narrative's oppressive yoke.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"An amazing pick for book clubs, reading discussion groups, or faith study groups, Jezebel Unhinged offers a fresh, exciting perspective on blackness, black female bodies, African American culture, and contemporary Christian teachings." -- Claire Foster * Foreword *
"A book for black women who want freedom." -- Mariam Williams * Women's Review of Books *
"Jezebel Unhinged is an insightful text that not only bridges the gap between Black feminist studies, Black pop culture studies, and womanist thought in religion, but also brings fresh and innovative analyses to longstanding discourses about black womanhood." -- Ahmad Greene-Hayes * Reading Religion *