The "Batty" Politic: Toward an Aesthetics of the Black Female Body

Hypatia 18 (4):87-105 (2003)
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Abstract

I assess representations of black women's derrières, which are often depicted as grotesque, despite attempts by some black women artists to create a black feminist aesthetic that recognizes the black female body as beautiful and desirable. Utilizing a black feminist disability theory, I revisit the history of the Hottentot Venus, which contributed to the shaping of this representational trope, and I identify a recurring struggle among these artists to recover the "unmirrored" black female body.

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