Ophelia Danielle Knight


Presentation: 11:00-11:30, Roesch Library Collab Space



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The poetry produced by queer black men tells of the intersecting ideals of racism, cultural norms and expectations of masculinity, and the homophobia that directly impacts the ways in which Black queer men exist in any space. I believe this poetry allows for insight and cultural nuance of safety and agency. Throughout my research of the poetry chosen it became obvious to me that forcing gendered ideals onto these people requires assimilation and controlled conformity, emphasizing that intersectional bonds can not be ignored. I argue that if queer Black men are to exist, they must be stereotypically “queer” in the way that tropes have depicted, within the poetry I have analyzed they must feed into stereotypes, hide their queerness, or they must escape the bonds of heteronormative expectations. The poetry depicts their sexuality and gender as a performance, a dance of survival Black queer men must practice and execute regularly in order to be visible in both racial and queer society. The performance of stereotypical queerness expressed within the poetry of Black queer male poets exemplifies the way in which queerness enables modes of survival.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

David J. Fine, Tereza M. Szeghi

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Critical Evaluation of Our Times; Diversity; Community

Black Male Queerness and the Poetic Performance of Survival