Eroticism in the Black Figure

In “Strange Love” the argument is to show the power photography has in stigmatizing certain groups of people, or even a single individual. Strange Love focuses on the pose that is observed in the images [1]. Hartman’s book Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments addresses a wide range of arguments but one of her arguments was the use of the black female in an erotic manner. In the first picture on the left by Thomas Eakins, she addresses the fact that the child is nude (not shown) and the pose is improper. Eakins had photographed multiple bodies before either jumping, dancing, or drinking but not posing in that manner. Hartman also shows a wide range of pictures that were taken in the same manner by renowned sociologists [2]. She also contrasts these images to other images of black females or children standing for the lens with no malice.

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[1] Meyer, Leisa D. ""Strange Love": Searching for Sexual Subjectivities in Black Print Popular Culture during the 1950s." Feminist Studies 38, no. 3 (Fall, 2012): 625-657,784.

[2] Hartman, S.V. Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval. pg. 44-47. W.W. Norton, Incorporated, 2019.

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