Private Lives, Proper Relations: Regulating Black Intimacy (Paperback)
  • Private Lives, Proper Relations: Regulating Black Intimacy (Paperback)
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Private Lives, Proper Relations: Regulating Black Intimacy (Paperback)

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£17.99
Paperback 240 Pages / Published: 12/06/2007
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Private Lives, Proper Relations begins with the question of why contemporary African American literature-particularly that produced by black women-is continually concerned with issues of respectability and propriety. Candice M. Jenkins argues that this preoccupation has its origins in recurrent ideologies about African American sexuality, and that it expresses a fundamental aspect of the racial self-an often unarticulated link between the intimate and the political in black culture. In a counterpoint to her paradigmatic reading of Nella Larsen\u2019s Passing, Jenkins\u2019s analysis of black women\u2019s narratives-including Ann Petry\u2019s The Street, Toni Morrison\u2019s Sula and Paradise, Alice Walker\u2019s The Color Purple, and Gayl Jones\u2019s Eva\u2019s Man-offers a theory of black subjectivity. Here Jenkins describes middle-class attempts to rescue the black community from accusations of sexual and domestic deviance by embracing bourgeois respectability, and asserts that behind those efforts there is the \u201cdoubled vulnerability\u201d of the black intimate subject. Rather than reflecting a DuBoisian tension between race and nation, to Jenkins this vulnerability signifies for the African American an opposition between two poles of potential exposure: racial scrutiny and the proximity of human intimacy. Scholars of African American culture acknowledge that intimacy and sexuality are taboo subjects among African Americans precisely because black intimate character has been pathologized. Private Lives, Proper Relations is a powerful contribution to the crucial effort to end the distortion still surrounding black intimacy in the United States. Candice M. Jenkins is associate professor of English at Hunter College, City University o

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816647880
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 354 g
Dimensions: 229 x 150 x 17 mm

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