Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

£19.99

The story of Christine Jorgensen, America's first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives; ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.

Drawing on a deep and varied archive of materials, early sexological texts, fugitive slave narratives, Afro-modernist literature, sensationalist journalism and Hollywood films, Snorton attends to how slavery and the production of racialised gender provided the foundations for an understanding of gender as mutable. In tracing the twinned genealogies of blackness and transness, Snorton follows multiple trajectories, from the medical experiments conducted on enslaved black women by J. Marion Sims, the "father of American gynecology," to the negation of blackness that makes transnormativity possible.

Author: C. Riley Snorton

Format: paperback