Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Under The Covers:
The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature Part III

Violet Bra by Shishy
"Under The Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature" was written and published by Jenee Darden in 2006. Figures and stats are from 2006 and may be outdated today. The entire article has been broken up into a 3-part series for Cocoa Fly. THIS WORK IS COPYRIGHTED.

Click here for the Intro
Click here for Part I
Click here for Part II

Pornographic or Erotic?

When “Erotique Noire” was first released, Martin says some black political groups criticized the book for including homosexual and bisexual black male characters and said that the literature enhanced stereotypes of black sexuality as lewd. Zane’s books share the same negative feedback. Some readers find her work derogatory, even more pornographic then erotic. A reviewer on Amazon.com commented that one of the erotica queen’s books “was “distasteful” and promoted “slut freedom instead of sexual freedom.”
This arouses the age-old question: what’s the difference between pornography and erotica?
“Pornography is sexual but it’s demeaning,” says sex expert Hilda Hutcherson. “There’s often violence and women are put down. Sex is not glorified as something that’s wonderful and pleasing to a couple. When you look at erotica, its two people who may or may not be married but are sharing a wonderful experience and there’s some beauty in that pleasure.”


Monday, February 22, 2010

Under The Covers:
The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature Part II

"Under The Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature" was written and published by Jenee Darden in 2006. Figures and stats are from 2006 and may be outdated today. The article is divided into a 3-part series for Cocoa Fly. THIS WORK IS COPYRIGHTED.

Click here for the Intro
Click here for Part I

How It All Began
In 1992 the groundbreaking anthology “Erotique Noire/Black Erotica” hit bookstores, igniting a sexual revolution in black literature. Three black English professors in Tennessee, Miriam DeCosta-Willis, Reginald Martin and the late Roseann Bell are editors of the collection that has been translated into several languages and is read throughout the world. Described as an “always spicy, sometimes raunchy, often tender and touching” collection of poetry, short stories and essays on the history of black erotica, the book features works from esteemed writers such as Gloria Naylor, Terry McMillan, Rita Dove and the late feminist-scholar Audre Lorde. Lorde’s “Love Poem” is featured in the book:

Speak earth and bless me with what is richest
make sky flow honey out of my hips
rigid as mountains
spread over a valley
carved out by the mouth of rain...

Although there have been a number of stories by writers like James Baldwin and Chester Himes that included erotic scenes, images of black sexuality were virtually nonexistent in literature. No book concentrated on the diversity and soul of black sexuality like “Erotique Noire.”
“It marked the first time that erotica was the focal point of a collection by black writers announcing, ‘Here we are speaking our own truths. Let’s celebrate!’” wrote Black Issues Book Review magazine’s Denolyn Carroll in 2004.

Willis and Bell were in their early 50s when they conjured up the idea on a Tennessee highway in the fall of 1988. The two professors from LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis were heading to Atlanta for business, but their conversations along the way were all about pleasure. In between Marvin Gaye’s plead to “get it on” belting from the speakers and blues-singer Lucille Bogan’s lusty lyrics off her “Copulation Blues” album, the ladies exchanged bed tales.
“We got into raunchy talk about our past love affairs. Roseann had like 50 or 60, and I think I had three at that point,” laughs Willis, now 71. “And we said, ‘Hey this stuff needs to be published.’”

Thursday, February 18, 2010

UC San Diego Students' Racist 'Compton Cookout ' Is Not A Shocker For This Alum

I have to interrupt my black erotic series because of reported racial ignorance and foolishness connected to my alma mater, UC San Diego. Seems like some chapter members of the predominately white fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha tried to get their ghetto pass like John Mayer and have been accused of honoring Black History Month by allegedly hosting a "Compton Cookout" party. The fraternity denies involvement. Here's the dress code from the invitation:

For guys: I expect all males to be rockin Jersey's, stuntin' up in ya White T (XXXL smallest size acceptable), anything FUBU, Ecko, Rockawear, High/low top Jordans or Dunks, Chains, Jorts, stunner shades, 59 50 hats, Tats, etc.
For girls: For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks-Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes - they consider Baby Phat to be high class and expensive couture. They also have short, nappy hair, and usually wear cheap weave, usually in bad colors, such as purple or bright red.
They look and act similar to Shenaynay, and speak very loudly, while rolling their neck, and waving their finger in your face.

My first thought when I read the Facebook invite was I hoped it wasn't true. However, I'm not surprised. I was one of the 200 black students who made up roughly 1-2% of the student population in the late 90's. And the numbers haven't changed much. Looking back on my experience, stuff like this offensive 'Compton Cookout' isn't new.

Under The Covers
The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature
Part I

Art by Shishy


"Under The Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature" was written and published by Jenee Darden in 2006. Figures and stats are from 2006 and may be outdated today. The article is divided into a 3-part series for Cocoa Fly. THIS WORK IS COPYRIGHTED.

Imagine this. A black woman longs to see her boyfriend after spending a girlfriend getaway in Jamaica. She leaves the plane and sees her man waiting by the arrival gate. The woman rushes toward his open arms but a female customs agent cuts the embrace short, searches her bags and orders the traveler to an inspection room. No drugs are found but she is strip-searched and held in custody for a long time. In the real world the traveler and her boyfriend may be scared or angry about the situation, but in the fictional world of black erotic author Zane, it’s the perfect opportunity for a threesome:

The agent’s “ass is protruding up in the air and you reach underneath the skirt of her uniform and start finger fuc*ing her while she continues to suckle on my nipples. I can feel your tongue deep inside my throbbing pu**y. We can hear planes landing and taking off and people walking by in the hall but none of us gives a damn cause this is just too good to let go.”

The story “The Airport,” from her collection “The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth,” is one of the hardcore, erotic, make-your-gynecologist-blush tales that has made Zane queen of black erotic literature. Although the steamy stories emerged 14 years ago, black erotica is one of the top-selling genres of African-American literature today, says Malaika Adero, senior editor for Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.

“Zane is it,” Adero says. “She is one of the bestselling black writers in any category.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Long Love Affair With Black Erotic Literature

"When I speak of the erotic, then, I speak of it as an assertion of the lifeforce of women, of that creative energy empowered , the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our loving, our work, our lives. "
--Audre Lorde "Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power"

Once upon a time I was a junior at UC San Diego who couldn't get enough of bell hooks and frequently quoted Dorothy Roberts. I was studying the impact of race on gender and learning much about myself as a young, black woman. That's what college does to you. One gorgeous day I was shopping at a Crown's Bookstore going-out-of-business sale" in La Jolla, Calif. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover but this one caught my attention. Right on the front was a waist-up shot of a partially-nude black woman. She and I were the only black faces in the store. La Jolla is a very wealthy, city and there aren't many people of color there. The model was confident in her dark skin. Her arms crossed under her chest barely covered her breasts. The image was on the cover of Brown Sugar: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction, edited by Carol Taylor. I assumed Brown Sugar was like a chocolate version of Harlequin but was proven wrong after a few pages. I was seduced by the beautifully written and detailed stories about black characters and their sexual experiences. The tales showed the diversity within black sexuality-male, female, gay, straight and bisexual. I appreciated reading about black women enjoying sex, their bodies, and defining their own sexuality. Not how hip hop, raunchy talk shows or other mediums have tried to define black female sexuality. Black women writers were asserting their identity. The book only cost four books so I paid the cashier and read more in my college apartment.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

John Mayer's "Hood Pass" is DENIED

Z100s Jingle Ball 2009 - Show

Dear Mr. John Mayer:

The National Hood Association enjoys hearing you play the guitar. But your mouth has become a problem. Lately, when you open it for discussion, a hot toxic mess of oral diarrhea seems to dump out. Like that craziness you shared in your now infamous Playboy interview. You said you have a "hood pass." Who gave you this pass? Or did you print a fake one off of your computer? One of the roles of the National Hood Association is to make sure honorary hood passes are not distributed anymore. Living in the ghetto is not to be taken for granted. Life in the hood is hard. Poverty is rough. Life as a black or brown man isn't easy either. John, you have soul but that doesn't qualify you for hood status. Maybe you thought you were "down" because of your appearance on "Chapelle's Show" and your collaborations with Jay Z. Or was it your performance at THE black funeral, Michael Jackson? Sorry to tell you this but Dave Chapelle, Jigga and the Jacksons aren't gatekeepers to the hood. We love them, but let's be real. They don't even live in the hood anymore.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Know a Man Looking For Work? Check My NPR Story

Hey Cocoa Fly Gals and Guys. Know any men ready to make a career change? Well, the occupational therapy (OT) field is hiring. "What's that?," you ask. Go check out my story I reported for NPR's Morning Edition. You need a college degree to be a therapist. FYI: This was cut out of the script, but there are job opportunities in OT for people with associate degrees also. Listen here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Black Blogger Pretends to be White Woman On Dating Site OkCupid

If I only I thought of this. Regardless, blogger Kia Matthews rocks for conducting this experiment.

A few months ago OkCupid released a study result showing how many responses women received based on race. And black women seem to get the least responses. Matthews was chatting about the results with another OkCupid user when he jokingly suggest she should pose as a white woman and see if more men responded to her. Erin, one of Mathews readers, donated her image for dating science and Matthews went undercover as a white woman. In my opinion I think Erin and Kia are both cute girls. The main difference between the two is race and body size. Kia is black and curve-a-licious. Erin is white and slim. Matthews writes on The Frisky she didn't see a shift in quantity on her white profile, but quality:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Fly Visitors

blogger statistics
blogger statistics