This article explores the imagining of the destabilization of heteronormative power relations in the performance I Love Black Men (Halász 2011). The performance points to the potential of developing anti-racist white femininities through the white female body and its affective dimensions. This article explores how the racial category White Woman is made in a particular racializing stereotype that posits an elemental sexual attraction between white women and black men, and how this stereotype is subverted in the performance. It argues that I Love Black Men envisions a new public body for white woman, and for the potential of forming new, anti-racist relations.
This article considers the imagining of anti-racist white femininities in the performance I Love Black Men, which I developed in London in 2011 as part of a visual sociology research project.
The research investigates the production of anti-racist white femininities through affect. The performance studio was staged to resemble a classroom; only the performer and I were present. I took the role of the instructor, remaining invisible throughout the video that records the performance. I developed the performance to address the invisibility of whiteness, the social construction of race through discourse, and the processes of racialization in representation, stereotyping, and cultural inscription. In my research, I employ the performance to challenge these models by insisting on the relevance of materiality and affective relationality in any theorization of the making of White Woman. In this article, I investigate the potential of developing anti-racist white femininities by directing attention to the affective dimensions of the white female body. I examine the imagining of the destabilization of heteronormative power relations in the performance, and its attempts to unsettle the grounds on which the racial category White Woman is made in a particular racializing stereotype that posits an elemental sexual attraction between white women and black men.