“Black Anality” argues that “black” and “anal” are rendered ideologically, discursively, and representationally synonymous, and that black female flesh becomes the material space on which this convergence occurs. Drawing on an archive of online, widely accessible black pornographies, I develop the term black anality to describe how black pleasures are represented as peculiarly and particularly oriented toward the anus, and thus as peculiarly and particularly attached to anal ideologies. In doing so, I depart from black feminist scholarship, which has long examined the buttocks as an imagined locus of racial-sexual difference and which has developed a set of analytics that now predominate in the study of black female sexualities: spectacularity, excess, grotesquerie, and display. “Black Anality” offers a new set of analytics for black feminist work on sexuality: spatiality, waste, toxicity, and filth. These analytics, I argue, allow black feminists to consider how black female sexuality is imagined to be rooted in (and perhaps generative of) certain kinds of filthy spaces, particularly the ghetto; how black sexuality is constructed as literally and metaphorically dirty; how black sexuality is posited as toxic, non-productive, and nonreproductive; and how black sexuality is imagined as wasteful. In turning attention to this understudied and overdetermining space — the black anus — “Black Anality” considers the racial meanings produced in pornographic texts that insistently return to the black female anus as a critical site of pleasure, peril, and curiosity.
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1 October 2014