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Fashioning the Body [as] Politic in Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust”

by Angeletta KM Gourdine

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In this essay, Angeletta KM Gourdine reads Daughters as a visual and verbal narrative that challenges the very concept of intersectionality and the illusory division between race and gender that sustains it. The film challenges the muted politic that woman itself names a subject that inher- ently excludes the film’s subjects. In Daughters, Dash erases the space between blackness and womanness as subject identities. For her, there is no intersection of race and gender as understood in common academic discourse. Her women subjects exist as they are, for she erases white women as the necessary backdrop against which blackwomen make sense. This analysis suggests that both the illusion and the remedy are constructs emanating from a body politic that denies blackwomen presence and subjectivity.

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