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date: 08 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Sifting through the layered ways in which the winin’ Afro-Caribbean woman, exemplified here by the pop-diva Rihanna, weaves in and out of vulgarity, this chapter discusses the colonizing gaze, which propagates a culture of continual colonization by entrapping the black dancing body within the negative spaces of primitivism and deviant sexuality. In turn, the very public performance of Rihanna slapping her cake on the Saturday Night Live (SNL) show underscores the various ways in which the Caribbean gyrating “cake” has been captured, consumed, and reinterpreted throughout history by Western science, medicine, law, religion, heteropatriarchy, and slavery. The tension between the need to promote a decolonized discourse on the black dancing female body and the historical shame naturalized onto it triggers a state of schizophrenia, especially for the Afro-Caribbean female spectator who resides in the global North and must partake in multiple cultural codes of blackness.

Keywords: Afro-Caribbean, winin’, Rihanna, colonization, primitivism, sexuality, heteropatriarchy, slavery, codes of blackness

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