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The Booty Don't Lie: Radical Coalitions Between Queer Women of Color and the Straight Women Who Love Them

Final Project for Queer Theory Courses 2013
by

Treasure Redmond

on 27 March 2015

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Transcript of The Booty Don't Lie: Radical Coalitions Between Queer Women of Color and the Straight Women Who Love Them

• Radical Coalitions means
transgressing
the taboo of the abject queer body of color

• Radical Coalitions means
producing
cultural products that strengthen bonds, query intersectionality, provide safety and move us further away from the “regimes of the normal” (MICHAEL WARNER Fear of a Queer Planet).

The Booty Don't Lie: Radical Coalitions Between Queer Women of Color
and
the Straight Women Who Love Them

Foundational Concept 1
There is a tension "between those who produce "culture" and those who consider themselves the arbiters of its critical reception"(Johnson BLACK QUEER THEORY).
Drive
QUARE STUDIES: a theory of an for gays and lesbians of color
Foundational Concept 2
"our project here is a fundamentally liberatory one -- in the sense that it is grounded in the assertion of individual rights balanced by communal accountability in the interest of assuring social justice" (E. Patrick Johnson BLACK QUEER THEORY).
Core
QUARE IS A THEORY IN THE FLESH!
“Theories in the flesh also conjoin theory and practice through an
embodied politic of resistance
. This politics of resistance is manifest in vernacular traditions such as performance, folklore, literature, and verbal art.”(Johnson BLACK QUEER THEORY)
Personal Experience
bull dagger
(an elegy for brenda delaine)

the rumor was . . .
it had happened to you at nursing school
but my grandmama said
your whole family was “funny”.

your brothers, shirelle and june,
with their conspicuously feminine
names
were the most articulate men
in our small southern sphere.

they talked proper
knew about wine
and read the black poets.

my mama, unfulfilled
and frustrated artist that she was,
would go next door and drink
with them.
have loud shit talking arguments about
nancy wilson and
jesse jackson’s
affair,
and all that diana ross scandal.
it was ’77, and i lived next door to
2 sissies
and
a bull dagger

brenda delaine
had lips
dyed charcoal
by pall mall’s with no filter
she had cut her “good “ hair short.
in the evenings,
i would jut my six-year-old knees
out of the back screen door,
sit on the low porch,
and scratch the hard dust
beside me with sticks.
brenda delaine was there
smoking quietly,
people watching.


sometimes,
a pretty high yellow woman
would come out too.
ask me about school,
if i had a boy friend,
what did santa claus bring me.


mostly,
we would look at the street in front of us,
speak to miss virginia
who never spoke back
and often
turned her head
as far left as it could go
so as not to look our way


Contextualizing Q.U.E.E.N.
“Testify: The Booty don’t lie.” This line bespeaks another truth that Black girls need to tell: the radical truth that Black girl’s asses are not merely archives of pain, but active sites of pleasure”
(CRUNK FEMINIST COLLECTIVE http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/2013/05/02/the-booty-dont-lie-kelly-k-michelle-janelle-monae-sing-black-girl-freedom/)

FURTHER CONTEXTUALIZATION
“Each time the line, “the booty don’t lie” is heard, it is connected to references of acts of resistance:
This joint’s for fights unknown/Come home and sing your song/But you gotta testify/Because the booty don’t lie
Well I’m gonna keep leading like a young Harriet Tubman/You can take my wings but I’m still goin’ fly/And even when you edit me the booty don’t lie.
These excerpts are indicative of the very specific posture of resistance crucial in trying to make sense out of a marginalized existence.”
(HASHIM PIPKN ON FEMINIST WIRE http://thefeministwire.com/2013/05/why-my-kingdom-needs-janelle-monaes-q-u-e-e-ndom/)


"Expanding these observa- tions, the anthropologist Gloria Wekker notes the significance of bonds between shipmates throughout the Afro-Atlantic:
In different parts of the Diaspora the relationship between people who came over to the “New” World on the same ship remained a peculiarity of this experience. The Brazilian “malungo,” the Trinidadian “malongue,” the Haitian “batiment” and the Surinamese “sippi” and “mati” are all examples of this special, non-biological bond between two people of the same sex." (Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley BLACK ATLANTIC, QUEER ATLANTIC)
“Those lyrics, that (brown girl) insurgency explored through a simultaneous connection and refusal to be pinned down are indicative of the margins many of us have have been relegated to. Have celebrated in. Created alliances through. Where we've landed and where our true possibilities lie. As Lorde states, Monáe gives a nod to "those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference."
(QUEER BLACK FEMINIST on BLOGGER, ANDREA CLAY http://queerblackfeminist.blogspot.com/2013/05/is-it-true-were-all-insane-monae-and.html)

FINAL THOUGHT
Full transcript