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Nobody Is Supposed to Know – Black Sexuality on the Down Low - Minnesota Scholarship Online
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Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low

C. Riley Snorton


Since the early 2000s, the phenomenon of the “down low”—black men who have sex with men as well as women and do not identify as gay, queer, or bisexual—has exploded in news media and popular culture, from the Oprah Winfrey Show to R & B singer R. Kelly’s hip hopera Trapped in the Closet. Most down-low stories are morality tales in which black men are either predators who risk infecting their unsuspecting female partners with HIV or victims of a pathological black culture that repudiates openly gay identities. In both cases, down-low narratives depict black men as sexually dangerous, duplicitou ... More

Keywords: down low, black men, queerness, Eve Sedgwick, glass closet, popular culture, black sexuality, blackness

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780816677962
Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816677962.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

C. Riley Snorton, author

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