E . P A T R I C K J O H N S O N
black queer studies has come of age.
Following on the heels
of an explosion of conferences, articles, and books over the last de cade,
black sexuality studies has been codified as a legitimate scholarly enter-
prise. While the Black Queer Studies in the Millennium Conference held
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000 was a water-
shed moment, I do not believe anyone in attendance imagined that black
queer studies would proliferate the way that it has since the turn of the
twenty- first century. But as John D’Emilio has observed about the 1990s
as regards gay liberation, the “world turned” in relation to the study of
black sexuality between 2000 and 2005.1 Bookended by the Black Queer
Studies conference in 2000 and the publication of Mae G. Hender-
son’s and my edited volume, Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology
in 2005 was the publication of Roderick Ferguson’s Aberrations
in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique in 2003, which inaugurated yet
another queer (of color) analytic and complemented very nicely the work
to which Ferguson also contributed an essay.
The years since 2005 have shifted the ground upon which we theo-
rize blackness and sexuality, most notably because a whole new crop of
scholars took up the mantle and ran with it. Although some of them were
exposed to black queer studies through
a few of them were actu-
ally gradu ate and undergraduate students who attended the Black Queer
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