This essay explores the temporal differences between the lived experience of black flesh and the black body. The author uncovers an aesthetics of the open body that differs greatly from the ongoing naturalizing of the always already marked black body. There is an emerging focus in twenty-first century African American literature on the anticipation of a second skin and an open body that has the feeling of “finna” (the African American vernacular that captures the feeling of what is almost already here). The author unveils the aesthetics of “finna” in art created by Toni Morrison, Claudia Rankine, Nate Marshall, and Kara Walker.
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