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In this chapter, Jennifer DeVere Brody situates E. Patrick Johnson’s play Strange Fruit within a critical genealogy of black gay image-making. Brody asserts that Johnson’s artistic work, along with that of other black queer men, facilitated the emergence of black queer studies. Brody then analyzes selected scenes from Strange Fruit to argue that Johnson employs performance studies sensibilities to destabilize essentialist notions of black queer male identity.

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