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Layton, L. (1998). Black (W)holes and the Geometry of Black Female Sexuality: E. Hammonds. Differences. VI, 1994. Pp. 126-145. Psychoanal Q., 67(2):346-347.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Black (W)holes and the Geometry of Black Female Sexuality: E. Hammonds. Differences. VI, 1994. Pp. 126-145

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(2):346-347

Black (W)holes and the Geometry of Black Female Sexuality: E. Hammonds. Differences. VI, 1994. Pp. 126-145

Lynne Layton

Hammonds is troubled by the silence maintained by both theorists of homosexuality and black and white feminists regarding black lesbian sexuality. Current discussions concerning black female sexuality generally represent it as silenced, simultaneously hypervisible and invisible, an empty void. Historical inquiries speak of a “culture of dissemblance,” the tendency of black middle-class women to keep their sexuality to themselves in order not to feed oppressive stereotypes. Thus, no one is talking about the pleasure, exploration, and agency of black female sexuality, let alone black lesbian sexuality. When it is discussed, black lesbian sexuality has been differentiated from white lesbian sexuality; Hammonds argues that it needs to be related to black heterosexuality because of the specific intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Black lesbians tend to be cast as race traitors. She offers as an example of black-white lesbian difference the possibility that black lesbians may tend also to have sexual relations with men. The author suggests that psychoanalysis may be useful to black women who want to reclaim their bodies and to find a language for expressing desire. She concludes with a discussion of her work on AIDS in the African-American community, where,

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again, black women are not heard because of the stigma attached to their sexuality.

Article Citation

Layton, L. (1998). Black (W)holes and the Geometry of Black Female Sexuality. Psychoanal. Q., 67(2):346-347

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