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The Church and the Streets: Influences on Black Women's Same-Sex Desire in the Pre-Stonewall Era

April 5, 2019
2:30-3:30 pm
Broad Auditorium, Pepper Center, 636 W. Call St.

The Department of Sociology and the African-American Studies program present a colloquium featuring Mignon R. Moore, professor and chair of sociology at Barnard College./span>

The talk examines the development of community and identity around sexual desire for black sexual minority women in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Drawing from archival materials, oral histories, in-depth interviews and African American periodicals, Moore argues that the practice of black lesbian identity is historically shaped by two areas of social life: the church, or religious ideologies and structures that organize racial communities, and the streets, or the nightlife and informal economy where public and semi-public expressions of same-sex desire take place.

It is through the intersection of race and sexuality that we learn more about how cultural experiences unify populations organized around same-sex desire. The findings encourage researchers to think more purposefully about the relationships between racial/ethnic identity and culture in the development of sexual minority communities.

Moore's presentation ispart of a larger project examining health and social support for sexual minority seniors to determine how community institutions can be of service to this population.

The talk will be followed by a reception in the Pepper Center lobby.

This event is supported by Lawrence Klar Projects. 

Dr. Mignon R. Moore has research interests in the study of family, race, gender, sexuality, aging, and qualitative research methods. Her first book, "Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships and Motherhood among Black Women" (2011) analyzed patterns of family formation in same-sex parent households headed by women of color. Her current research examines health and social support for sexual minority seniors to determine the ways community institutions can be of service to this population. Professor Moore’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Mellon Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, and an Early Career Award from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.