"If Nothing Ends": Thinking Power, Antiblackness, and Transgender Politics
Brown, Kimberly Ann
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This thesis explores the position of blackness in transgender politics as both unthought and used. I demonstrate how the deployment of blackness in trans politics is a function of antiblackness. I do this through looking at media representations, key texts in trans scholarship, the turn in trans scholarship toward both bio and necropower, as well as the connections between chattel slavery and the experience of trans feminine prisoners. I argue that the black body, whether trans or cisgender, gains value through its ability to be used to demonstrate a false sense of progress. Through these representations, I show the limits of visibility for thinking both blackness and trans identity. I also argue that comparisons between chattel slavery and trans imprisonment should be made on the basis of the function of sexual violence and the (un)making of gender in both. Failure to acknowledge this point leads to antiblack reformist strategies. I end with a consideration of the spectacle of black (trans) suffering and the politics and violence performed in Trans Day of Remembrance.