Dr. Tara T. Green reads from and discusses See Me Naked: Black Women Defining Pleasure in the Interwar Era, on the extraordinary lives of Lena Horne, Moms Mabley, Yolande DuBois, and Memphis Minnie. Black women who enjoyed pleasure as they gave pleasure to both those in their lives and to the public at large. Durham's beloved Monet Noelle Marshall - artist and cultural organizer, joins Dr. Green in conversation. Dr. Green is a scholar of Black Women's Studies.
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About Dr. Tara. T. Green:
Dr. Tara T. Green is a scholar of African American Studies. She holds degrees in English and her areas of specialty include Black feminist studies, Black parent-child relationships, and Black activism. Inspired by her Southern upbringing, Dr. Green is a lover of storytelling. At UNC-Greensboro, she worked with librarians to expand the archival presence of the local Black community, including interviews with Black Lives Matter protestors and organizers
for the Triad Black Lives Matter collection.
She is the author and editor of six books. Her book A Fatherless Child: Autobiographical Perspectives of African American Men received the 2011 Outstanding Scholarship in Africana Studies Award from the National Council for Black Studies. In 2018, she published Reimagining the Middle Passage: Black Resistance in Literature, Television, and Song. She has edited two books, From the Plantation to the Prison: African American Confinement Literature and Presenting Oprah Winfrey, Her Films, and African American Literature. She has most recently published See Me Naked: Black Women Defining Pleasure During the Interwar Era (Rutgers UP) and Love, Activism and The Respectable Life of Alice Dunbar-Nelson (Bloomsbury) look specifically at how Black women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century navigated the politics of respectability to live on their own terms.
Moving beyond her research, she has received numerous service and educators’
awards. Dr. Green was reared in the suburbs of New Orleans./she) is a poet and author obsessed with ancestry, memory, and the process of staying within one's own body. Their work leaves spells and incantations for others to follow for themselves. Dekine is the author of the self-published collection and mixtape, i am from a punch & a kiss (2017). Their poems have been published or are forthcoming in the Poetry Out Loud Anthology, POETRY Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, Oxford American, and elsewhere. Dekine is a Tin House Own Path Scholar. They live in South Carolina with their wise dog, Malachi.
About Monet Noelle Marshal:
Monet Noelle Marshal is an artist and cultural organizer. She centers Black trans, queer folks and women in her work and defines her artistic practice as “rehearsal for the relationship’. She is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer for Marshall Art & Consulting and the founding Artistic Director of MOJOAA Performing Arts Company. MOJOAA is a Black theater company in the Triangle region of North Carolina that centers Black playwrights of the South. Her work has been experienced in St. Ann’s Warehouse, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Open Eye Figure Theatre, Northstar Church of the Arts, Manbites Dog Theatre and Mordecai Historic Park. Most recently she has collaborated with African American Policy Forum on Gucci’s Chime for Change zine, Scalawag Magazine, NC Museum of Art, Historic Stagville, City of Raleigh and Columbia University.
See Me Naked: Black Women Defining Pleasure in the Interwar Era
Pleasure refers to the freedom to pursue a desire, deliberately sought in order to satisfy the self. Putting pleasure first is liberating. During their extraordinary lives, Lena Horne, Moms Mabley, Yolande DuBois, and Memphis Minnie enjoyed pleasure as they gave pleasure to both those in their lives and to the public at large. They were Black women who, despite their public profiles, whether through Black society or through the world of entertainment, discovered ways to enjoy pleasure.They left home, undertook careers they loved, and did what they wanted, despite perhaps not meeting the standards for respectability in the interwar era.
See Me Naked looks at these women as representative of other Black women of the time, who were watched, criticized, and judged by their families, peers, and, in some cases, the government, yet still managed to enjoy themselves. Among the voyeurs of Black women was Langston Hughes, whose novel Not Without Laughter was clearly a work of fiction inspired by women he observed in public and knew personally, including Black clubwomen, blues performers, and his mother. How did these complicated women wrest loose from the voyeurs to define their own sense of themselves? At very young ages, they found and celebrated aspects of themselves. Using examples from these women's lives, Green explores their challenges and achievements.