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Black on both sides : a racial history of trans identity

Author: C Riley Snorton
Publisher: Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press, [2017]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The story of Christine Jorgensen, Americas first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives-ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: C Riley Snorton
ISBN: 9781517901738 1517901731 9781517901721 1517901723
OCLC Number: 982091801
Description: xiv, 259 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Part I. Blacken. Anatomically speaking : ungendered flesh and the science of sex --
Trans capable : fungibility, fugitivity, and the matter of being --
Part II. Transit. Reading the "trans-" in transatlantic literature : on the "female" within Three Negro classics --
Part III. Blackout. A nightmarish silhouette : racialization and the long exposure of transition --
DeVine's cut : public memory and the politics of martyrdom.
Responsibility: C. Riley Snorton.

Abstract:

The story of Christine Jorgensen, Americas first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives-ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence. Drawing on a deep and varied archive of materials-early sexological texts, fugitive slave narratives, Afro-modernist literature, sensationalist journalism, Hollywood films-Snorton attends to how slavery and the production of racialized gender provided the foundations for an understanding of gender as mutable. In tracing the twinned genealogies of blackness and transness, Snorton follows multiple trajectories, from the medical experiments conducted on enslaved black women by J. Marion Sims, the father of American gynecology, to the negation of blackness that makes transnormativity possible. Revealing instances of personal sovereignty among blacks living in the antebellum North that were mapped in terms of cross dressing and canonical black literary works that express black mens access to the female within, he concludes with a reading of the fate of Phillip DeVine, who was murdered alongside Brandon Teena in 1993, a fact omitted from the film Boys Don't Cry out of narrative convenience.

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"The research done here is stellar."-Washington Blade"This book is an outstanding contribution to conversations about black and trans studies; it will transform scholarly understandings of both Read more...

 
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