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Theorizing Conscious Black Asexuality through Claire Kann’s Let’s Talk about Love

Department of Sociology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
Humanities 2019, 8(4), 165;
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unsilencing Black Sexuality in the African Diaspora)
Asexuality is often defined as some degree of being void of sexual attraction, interest, or desire. Black asexual people have been made invisible, silent, or pathologized in most fiction, scholarly literature, and mainstream LGBTQ movements. Claire Kann’s 2018 young adult romance novel, Let’s Talk About Love, explores Black asexuality at the intersection of race and (a)sexuality. Through the story of the Black, bi-romantic, asexual, 19 year-old college student Alice Johnston, this text illuminates the diversity of Black sexuality in the Black Diaspora. Using a Black feminist sociological literary analysis to complete a close reading of the novel, I interrogate what Let’s Talk about Love offers for defining a Black asexual politic. To consider Black asexual politics beyond the controlling images of the asexual Mammy figure, and not merely in juxtaposition to the hypersexual Jezebel, calls us to instead center agency and self-definition. This project seeks to answer what Conscious Black Asexuality is, why it is a necessary concept for asexuality studies and the Diaspora, where we locate Black asexuality in Black history, and how Let’s Talk about Love by Claire Kann presents a depiction of Black agentic queerness that reclaims agency and intimacy within one’s sexual politics. View Full-Text
Keywords: asexuality; young adult fiction; Mammy asexuality; young adult fiction; Mammy
MDPI and ACS Style

Miles, B. Theorizing Conscious Black Asexuality through Claire Kann’s Let’s Talk about Love. Humanities 2019, 8, 165.

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