Today’s #AntiAbleistComposition feature is “Black Feminist Theory for the Dead and Dying” by Patrice D. Douglass. The essay is published in Theory & Event.
This essay employs the 2016 police shooting of Korryn Gaines by Baltimore SWAT to ask critical questions about how various conceptualizations of gender violence occlude critical theorizations of how black people die at the hands of the state. Black death is thus taken up as a Black feminist theoretic to challenge the discursive capacity of gender as a singular category to articulate conclusively the suffering of Black gendered subjects. Thus, by examining the narrative maneuvers of the 2017 Women’s March to articulate police violence as a gender concern, this essay demonstrates how the specificities of Blackness are crowded out by the drive towards a collective politic.
Dr. Patrice D. Douglass is an Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. She holds a PhD and MA in Culture and Theory from the University of California, Irvine, a MA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Riverside, and a BA in Feminist Studies and Legal Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.