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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

American representations of black women’s sexuality extend from the political culture of the eighteenth century to the public and popular culture of the twenty-first. Hip-hop culture may now be at the center of the phenomenon, and antiblack misogyny seems to emanate from gangsta rap music. However, Thomas Jefferson’s racial theses on blacks, and black women in particular, from his Notes on the State of Virginia helped form this perspective. Jefferson’s tradition of flattened-out, uncomplicated, and sexually and racially violent representations and understandings of black women and their sexuality continue in our contemporary moment, as does his biased aesthetic evaluations of them based on ideas of white superiority.

Keywords: Thomas Jefferson, black women, sexuality, hip-hop culture, antiblack misogyny

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