to say that the field of
black queer studies has grown is
undoubtedly an understatement. As  E. Patrick Johnson notes in his
introduction, it seems like only yesterday that many of us were strug-
gling to have black
folks included in discussions and articles about
“the” black community. I remember helping to plan the conference Black
Nations/Queer Nations in 1995 and never imagining that the future
would include national and international conferences where black queer
studies would be a central point of interrogation by scholars, activists,
and politicians as was the case at the 2014 Whose Beloved Community?”
conference held at Emory University. I remember attending the Black
Queer Studies conference in 2000 planned by E. Patrick Johnson and
Mae G. Henderson and never believing that the group assembled there
would in a de cade help to revolutionize our study and understanding of
black intimacy, sex, and community. And yet, here we are, the many of us,
having built the academic field of black queer studies that has come to be
respected, critiqued, and institutionalized.
It is the question of institutionalization and all that comes with it that
currently worries me. Of course, the readers of a volume like No Tea, No
Shade should be interested in seeing black queer studies incorporated into
the mainstream of academic studies. Such institutionalization brings with
it resources to train more students, jobs for those engaged in research in
this field, tenure for those willing to risk their careers to push through
bound aries of what was thought to be appropriate topics for scholars
Cathy J. Cohen
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