Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quote: Margo Natalie Crawford

"In Our Terribleness, Baraka writes, 'So the blood with the Agbada (robe) and the sisters with the natural must also represent the consciousness that change symbolizes.' The very word “natural” as a reference to the afro hairstyle fully displays the way that the 'Black is Beautiful' ideology often led to a belief in the embodiment of abstraction—seemingly, the 'natural,' the hairstyle, embodies a blessed state of 'nature.' The fetishism of the afro as 'natural' during the Black Arts movement was comparable to the fetishism of dark-skinned blackness as 'naturally' beautiful. In the photograph 'Wigs' and the photographs of the black male crossdressers wearing wigs, Crawford’s normal fetishism of the 'natural' is forced to confront the fetishism of the 'unnatural'—the blond wigs, the makeup, the female clothing on male bodies. The juxtaposition of these photographs and Crawford’s 'Black is Beautiful' images reveals connections between black drag and the cultural nationalism of the Black Arts movement. As we look at these photographs, we hear Baraka’s insistence that 'I can take off these clothes and wear some others.'"
--from Margo Natalie Crawford, Dilution Anxiety and the Black Phallus, Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2008, p. 85. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment