By Anupama Rao (ed.)
Many of the essays during this assortment have emerged within the context of a renewed nationwide debate concerning the politics of caste inaugurated through the Mandal determination in 1989—a selection that has renewed calls for for social justice through dalits and lower-castes. Dalit-bahujan feminists transcend arguing that Indian feminism is incomplete and specific and recommend that we reconsider the family tree of Indian feminism which will interact meaningfully with dalit women's "difference" from the best topics of feminist politics.
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This may appear to readers as a methodological blind spot or, even worse, a deliberate marginalization of black lesbian experiences. This book does not represent an attempt to marginalize black lesbian experiences or privilege black gay men’s experiences as superior or more important than those of black lesbians. My reasons for focusing on the writings of black gay men are twofold. First, I am using black gay men’s writings as a tool by which black religious scholars may approach difference in African American life.
If this book characterizes or construes the fictions of E. Lynn Harris as less worthy of critical attention than the fictions of Randall Kenan, then I have developed a rigid canon based on a subjective account of black gay men’s writings that is rooted in a “high versus low culture” dichotomy. ” As I noted earlier, the prior chapters examine what black theologians and cultural critics (who are largely self-identified heterosexuals) have said about sexual difference in black communities. ” Bringing black queer voices forward is important, as these voices speaking for themselves and about their experiences enrich our descriptions of black life.
It is my contention that part of the intellectual problem with black liberationist discourse when it encounters sexual difference is its allegiance to particular conceptions of God in relationship to humankind. This chapter offers a prologue to a humanist ethics of openness, the contours of which are shaped around two controlling themes of honesty and openness. As I will articulate in greater detail, this humanist ethics of openness is neither predicated upon a nostalgic reading of race nor a heroic reading of sexual difference in African American life.
Gender and Caste by Anupama Rao (ed.)