When I Think of Home: Real Love, Fantasy Worlds and Black Queer Kinship

Authors: Cornel Grey*, University of Toronto
Topics: Sexuality, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: black queer studies, black geographies, queer kinship
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom 2, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Second Floor Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper draws on the vision of ‘home’ articulated by Dorothy in The Wiz to work through the ways that black queer kinship structures offer an important and alternative way to understand notions of belonging. Some scholars of the black diaspora approach the question of home through the lens of loss, which is to say, black people were taken from their home and now we cannot go back. In this paper, I engage Saidiya Hartman’s (2007) arguments in Lose Your Mother: Journeys Along the Atlantic Slave Route to rethink black (queer) folks’ relationship to home. Further, I turn to Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley (2008) to highlight the ways that black folks created definitions of home that focus less on placement and physical infrastructure and more on the nature of the relationships. In doing so, I argue that the question of what is ‘real’ (be it love, belonging, home or family) is grounded in the felt, fleshy and material experiences that black queer folks have with each other.

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