All My N*ggas is Casket Pretty: Projects of Sustainability for Black Folks

Student: Sharah “Georgia” Hutson
Major: Philosophy
Advisor: Evan Riley
Calvin Warren holds the notion that “anti-black violence continues without end and can never be overcome.” As I stand in agreement with Warren’s assertion, I use it as the catalyst 1 that has pushed me into taking on the project of investigating the manners in which Black bodies are able to sustain themselves in a world in which anti-blackness is a global commodity. I argue that it is through multifarious modes of performance that queer Black bodies (for this project, all Black folks are to be understood as queer figures) are able to sustain a future for themselves, while using these various mediums as a means of resistance that “resists death, slavery, infamy, and shame.” Within my project, I will be engaging with queering blackness, the 2 importance of coalition building, and projects of Black futurity that extend beyond afrofuturism. Even though using these various modes of performance is not able to annihilate the anti-blackness that Black bodies encounter, it can still serve as a tool to be utilized when these bodies are constructing projects of futurity. In the first chapter, I will discuss the limits of queer theory, the birth of quare theory, and provide examples of what happpens when queerness is reconcepted. The second chapter concerns itself with queering blackness, argues against essentializing blackness, and will be rooted in a definition of blackness that is malleable. Chapter three will speak towards art as a form of resistance to anti-blackness, the importance of kinship within communal spaces, the radical potential of queer politics, and bring in queer of color scholarship on performance theory. Through my encounters with queer theory throughout my four years at the College of Wooster, I have come to the understanding that often times queer theory tends to be inaccessible to readers due to the jargon and academic language that is being used to write the texts. As a way to call upon those who have asserted that a scholar’s work is not radical if it is not accessible, I will be creating a zine as a form of visual culture that explains the theories, ideas, and texts that have been embedded into my project.

Georgia will be online to field comments on May 8:
Noon-2pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium, Independent Study.