This essay understands slowness as an embodied method that black queer women mobilize to articulate their place within gentrifying neighborhoods oriented around speed and its by-product: white heteromasculinity. It follows the women as they participate in a queer dance party dedicated to slow jams, examining how they use slowness to theorize and take pleasure in the party as black queer women. As the party gets more popular, however, the music gets faster, the crowd gets whiter, and black queer women’s deployments of slowness shift as they see the party capitulating to a model of success in the neoliberal city that depends on black queer aesthetics even as it disavows black queer subjects. The essay subsequently situates black queer women’s conscious practices of slowness within a longer genealogy of black negotiations of the temporal, arguing that black and black queer management of space-time necessarily expands juridical-economic formulations of what David Harvey describes as the “right to the city.” In so doing, it argues for more acute attention to the racialized queer mechanics of temporal as well as affective and embodied capital as important terrains on which black queer subjects make themselves intelligible within neoliberal spaces that function through their removal.
Kemi Adeyemi; The Practice of Slowness: Black Queer Women and the Right to the City. GLQ 1 October 2019; 25 (4): 545–567. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-7767767
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