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Black Queer Identity Matrix

Towards An Integrated Queer of Color Framework


Sheena C. Howard

This volume launches the first sustained discussion of the need for a queer of color conceptual framework around Black, lesbian female identity. Specifically, this volume addresses the necessity for a more integrated framework within queer studies, in which the variables of race/ethnicity are taken into consideration. This book is unique in that it highlights a triple-jeopardy minority group that has been historically marginalized and concludes with the proposal of a much-needed framework for researchers to begin to create a baseline of knowledge/research under the umbrella of the Black Queer Identity Matrix.
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This volume has been a culmination of academic work and personal association as it relates to Black lesbian female identity. I spent much of this book presenting a need for a more integrated queer of color framework. Hopefully, the Black Queer Identity Matrix (BQIM) will be a starting place for discussion and scholarship around Black lesbian women.

I believe Afrocentricity gives us the foundation to comprehend the continuity and extension between African American history and communication within the Black community today. Black women are members of the Black community and consequently have a very unique cultural history, which is significant in studying members of the Black community. Molefi Asante is considered “the father” of Afrocentricity and began his work in the field of rhetoric. This is significant in that the foundation of Afrocentricity encourages us to explore the communicative or rhetorical dimensions within African American communication. Afrocentricity provides a vehicle to exploring these communicative strategies that may be unique to African American women. There is a large body of knowledge around Black Rhetoric and Black Liberation Rhetoric, with very little focus on women. BQIM seeks to explore these communicative associations across the African American lesbian community. It is not to say that all African American women employ the same communication strategies when negotiating their identity, coming out, or coping with oppression within society; however, I am saying that Black women have a unique history that influences how they communicate, how their worldview is shaped, and how...

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