Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism

By Patricia Hill Collins | Go to book overview

SIX

VERY NECESSARY

Redefining Black Gender Ideology

2002: African Americans were well represented at the 74th annual Academy Awards ceremony. Hostess Whoopee Goldberg returned for her fourth highly successful stint hosting the event. Winning Best Actor in 1963 for his role inLilies of the Field, seventy-four-year-old actor Sidney Poitier received an honorary award for his extraordinary performances in over fifty years in the business. But the main event came when actress Halle Berry became the first African American woman to win for Best Actress and actor Denzel Washington followed in Poitier's footsteps to become the second African American man to win Best Actor. Despite the glitz of the media spectacle, some lingering doubts remained about both Berry's and Washington's awards. Halle Berry's career had included many fine films, yet she won best actress forMonster's Ball, a film in which Berry engaged in a torrid interracial sex scene with actor Billie Bob Thornton. Denzel Washington also had impeccable credentials as an accomplished actor. Despite his stellar performances in heroic roles in numerous films (e.g.,Malcolm XandJohn Q), Washington won his Oscar for his depiction of a violent, corrupt police officer inTraining Day. No one doubted Berry's talent or Washington's virtuosity as an actor. But one lingering question remained. Of all of the

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Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - African Americans and the New Racism 23
  • One - Why Black Sexual Politics? 25
  • Two - The Past is Ever Present 53
  • Three - Prisons for Our Bodies, Closets for Our Minds 87
  • Part II - Rethinking Black Gender Ideology 117
  • Four - Get Your Freak On 119
  • Five - Booty Call 149
  • Six - Very Necessary 181
  • Part III - Toward a Progressive Black Sexual Politics 213
  • Seven - Assume the Position 215
  • Eight - No Storybook Romance 247
  • Nine - Why We Can't Wait 279
  • Notes 309
  • Glossary 349
  • Bibliography 353
  • Index 367
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