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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on a viral video featuring commentary playing over an episode of the US syndicated show Soul Train. The particular queer black commentary in the video addresses the outfits, dances, and individual expression of each dancer as she or he struts down the line. At one point, narrator Darrell Hunt proudly states, “You can’t outdo black people!” What is it that cannot be outdone? What types of pleasures, affective expressions, and collective structures of feeling emerge from the witnessing and circulation of this viral video? Part of the discussion addresses how such communities celebrate blackness as something of value, worth collecting, and competitively viable. Hunt’s affective analysis of the black bodies dancing is particularly relevant given the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement and the continual devaluation of black bodies globally. If neoliberalism celebrates competition and individuality, how does black collective pleasure, mediated through a queer aesthetic and affective lens, actually out-do the emotionally devastating effects of capitalism?

Keywords: Soul Train, black, queer, #BlackLivesMatter, dance, neoliberalism

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