This essay problematizes the positivist logic of minority social history by engaging black queer gossip as an archive that actively resists visibility, recognition, and institutionalization, key strategies of modern identity politics. Contextualizing a history of black gay social history against black queer studies' exploration of black sexual minorities' vexed relationship to a politics of visibility, this essay traces a genealogy of black homosexuality's conditional, and at times violent, entry into the archives of modern urban history. Holmes argues that rather than a formal resistive movement, black gay gossip produces a political framework that actively disidentifies with the liberatory potential of historical and political incorporation.

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