Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low by C. Riley Snorton

By C. Riley Snorton


Since the early 2000s, the phenomenon of the “down low”—black males who've intercourse with males in addition to girls and don't determine as homosexual, queer, or bisexual—has exploded in information media and pop culture, from the Oprah Winfrey Show to R & B singer R. Kelly’s hip hopera Trapped within the Closet. such a lot down-low tales are morality stories during which black males are both predators who probability infecting their unsuspecting woman companions with HIV or sufferers of a pathological black tradition that repudiates overtly homosexual identities. In either instances, down-low narratives depict black males as sexually harmful, duplicitous, promiscuous, and contaminated.

In Nobody is meant to Know, C. Riley Snorton lines the emergence and movement of the down low in modern media and pop culture to teach how those portrayals strengthen troubling perceptions of black sexuality. transforming Eve Sedgwick’s inspiration of the “glass closet,” Snorton advances a brand new concept of such representations during which black sexuality is marked through hypervisibility and confinement, spectacle and hypothesis. via shut readings of reports, track, video clips, tv, and gossip blogs, Nobody is meant to grasp explores the modern family tree, which means, and capabilities of the down low.

Snorton examines how the down low hyperlinks blackness and queerness within the renowned mind's eye and the way the down low is only one instance of the way media and pop culture surveil and police black sexuality. figures equivalent to Ma Rainey, Bishop Eddie L. lengthy, J. L. King, and should Smith, he finally contends that down-low narratives display the bounds of present understandings of black sexuality.

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