white supremacist heteropatriarchal capitalism disenfranchises black lives W r i t i n g

white supremacist heteropatriarchal capitalism disenfranchises black lives W r i t i n g

Write a 1000-word critical reflection on the concepts of love, family, and kinship in Barry Jenkins’ and Terry Alvin McCraney’s Moonlight. For your brief rumination, you may find it useful to draw on Richard T. Rodriguez’s “Making Queer Familia,” a short essay in which the author offers a useful conceptualization of kinship practices among queers of color. (The first three pages of Rodriguez’s essay should prove of particular use. That said, you are not required to draw on “Making Queer Familia” as a reference; this is merely a suggestion, so perhaps skim the first couple of pages and decide from there.)

With regards to length, please submit nothing less than 900—nor anything more than 1400—words.

Lastly, do bear in mind: Short paper # 2 will be a personal, autobiographical reflection on queerness. As such, though you may briefly refer to your own experiences as you’re reflecting on Moonlight, please limit your focus primarily to Jenkins’ and McCraney’s 2016 film.


Some of you have been making several problematic statements as regards the fact of Blackness. So, to be clear, before I post the paper prompt, the following statement holds true for Moonlight as well:

  • To every single member of this class, I cannot stress this enough, so please, do recognize: Pariah is a film about Black lesbian youth. To deny the precise specificity of the film’s subject matter, the identity of the film’s creator, and the disenfranchised communities it highlights in particular is to deny the legitimacy of the Black lesbian and Black lgbtq+ experience. There is no transcending race. There is no “looking beyond” race. For Black communities, there is no comfort in a colorblind politics that refuses to recognize the richness, distinctness, and complexity of Black culture, on the one, and, on the inextricable other, the profound, ongoing ways in which white supremacist heteropatriarchal capitalism disenfranchises Black lives, Black lesbian lives, Black gay lives, Black trans lives, Black queer lives, Black heterosexual lives, Black nonbinary lives, Black bisexual lives, and young Black queer lives of every sex, gender, religion, and class. To suggest that a text transcends race is to make the speciously race-eliding claim that all lives matter. The point of the film, and, indeed, the point of the Movement for Black Lives to which it necessarily belongs, is, specifically: Black Lives Matter.

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