Queer Freedom: Black Sovereignty

Happy Pride Month! This week's review "seeks to decolonize the body" through its unpacking of racial constructs and sexual expression in the Caribbean

Queer Freedom: Black Sovereignty

Lara, Ana-Mauríne. SUNY Press, 2020
190p bibl index, 9781438481098 $95.00, 9781438481104 $32.95, 9781438481111

Queer Freedom: Black Sovereignty book cover

This creative study seeks to decolonize the body. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork from the Dominican Republic, it confronts racial constructs and the constraints of sexual expression in the Caribbean. Lara (Univ. of Oregon) structures the text as an Afro-Caribbean spiritual celebration of self-emancipation that engages with anthropological literature and personal experiences. The book is itself a sacred offering to the ancestral, spiritual, and physical beings that have contested the oppressive legacies of colonialism, racism, and homophobia. The author advocates for systemic change that will end the anguish of centuries of colonial and imperial doctrine that have imprisoned the imaginations and desires of Caribbean peoples. It is a phenomenological study written in poetic, provocative, powerful prose. The author critiques Christianity and capitalism to challenge the colonial construct of the state. The hierarchical structures created by the state generate social inequities and mental confines that prohibit the true expression of queer freedom and Black sovereignty. Afro-Caribbean spirituality offers a roadmap to liberation. This reflexive, theoretically engaging study is a must read for scholars of the African diaspora and specialists in gender and sexuality studies, especially in the Caribbean.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels.
F. H. Smith, North Carolina A & T State University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: African and African American Studies , Women’s & Gender Studies , Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Studies
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Anthropology
Choice Issue: Aug 2021

Enjoy this week’s review? Check out more reviews of titles in the LGBTQ+ subject area: