“By looking at the ways work and play were blurred for black artists, this study contends that black women reclaimed their bodies in as well as from the world of work. The limited opportunities the so-called legitimate economies offered working-class black women impressed them into lives of service, menial and manual. Working black women’s bodies were defined by their worth as exploitable labor. The very act of making money through the beauty, grace, and comedy of their bodies’ talents reframed what could be produced by physical effort, sweat and disciplined tenacity. Such production cannot be recovered as moments of pure resistance to oppression, but rather as a complex of often-times bald commercialism and a resilient striving for the body’s creative autonomy.”(1)
(1) Jayna Brown, Babylon Girls; Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern 7 (1st ed. 2008)
3:15 runtime; 16:9
Music Video; Full HD (still)
Curated by Kendra Jayne Patrick. Essay in Journal.