Black Queer History

August 26, 2018

This course explores the history of black queer cultures in America. In continuous dialogues with mainstream black and LGBT cultures, black queer discourses have unceasingly redefined the boundaries of sexuality, class, color and gender through history. Starting from slavery time, this course will explore black queer struggles, desires, imaginations and victories to understand present-day discourses on race and sexuality. Topics explored include: cross-gender behaviors in slavery, same-sex sexualities in slave narratives, homoerotic sadism and lynching, sexological categories and scientific racism, intimate friendships, Drag Balls, The Harlem Renaissance, rent parties, black-and-tan clubs, Jazz, black queer religious leaders, black queer DC, black nationalists and sexuality, Disco, House music, HIV/AIDS, trans identities and TV black queer characters.



Tristan Cabello is Assistant Director of the Master of Liberal Arts program at Johns Hopkins University (formerly director of American Studies at American University). Cabello’s research explores the intersection of race, sexuality, class and popular culture in modern American culture. His first monograph Queer Bronzeville: Race, Sexuality and Black Chicago, 1920-1985 documents the shaping of African American queer cultures in Chicago.

CC_Tristan Portrait