Introduction: The Queer Elsewhere of Black Diaspora
1 Stuart Hall, unpublished Interview with Bill Schwartz, 2004, 4–5, 7–8; man-
uscript supplied to the author by Bill Schwartz.
2 Ibid., 10.
3 Ibid., 10–11.
4 Ibid., 16–17.
5 Ibid.
6 Writing of the hard- won claims to London spaces by black migrants in the
nineteen- seventies, Phillips writes: “So in Britain the spaces we inhabited also
became territories of the soul.” London Crossings: A Biography of Black Britain
(London: Continuum Press, 2001) 203.
7 Jose Muñoz, “Introduction: Feeling Utopia,” in Cruising Utopia: The Then
and There of Queer Futurity (New York: New York University Press, 2009), 1.
8 Ibid., 17.
9 Recent queer studies allows me to think through questions of time and affinity
in a way that makes sexuality deeply integral rather than epiphenomenal to
my readings. However, it is often the case that scholars focused on queer time
fail to take into account raced or diasporic test cases—as well as the different
formulations of history registered by the temporal ruptures that mark black
diaspora. I seek to bring, therefore, the critical endowment of such queer the-
orists as Lee Edelman, Chris Nealon, Elizabeth Freeman, and Heather Love
into conversation with global black cultures and textual practices. Reading,
for instance, Freeman’s notion of chrononormativity alongside Muñoz’s for-
mulation of queer utopia (in which queerness is that which is yet to be ac-
complished) establishes a temporal horizon of queerness that accommodates
itself to Jamaican Rastafari’s ever- deferred messianic eschatology. Chris Ne-
alon argues that pre- Stonewall queer texts display “an overwhelming desire
to feel historical” that impel narratives of the foundling picked up and grafted
onto a family unit. Nealon, Foundlings: Lesbian and Gay Historical Emotion
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