No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies
E. Patrick Johnson is Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University, the coeditor of Blacktino Queer Performance and Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology, and the author of Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity, all also published by Duke University Press.
Audre Lorde is a much-revered figure within black queer studies. Her theorization of the erotic is often used to articulate a mode of solidarity in which people from disparate backgrounds can come together to combat oppression. While this use of Lorde’s work has been politically salient, Amber Jamilla Musser refocuses our attention on Lorde’s identity politics. In the essay, she asks how Lorde’s claiming of the labels lesbian, feminist, mother, and poet shifts our understanding of the erotic in order to grapple more fully with the legacy that black lesbian feminism has left to queer studies. In particular, Musser argues that Lorde’s identity politics rescript the place of the mother and lesbian sex within black queer studies. Lorde theorizes both together as an important sphere of political action, thereby enlarging genealogies of black lesbian feminism and providing new avenues with which to think queer theory.