Furtive Blackness : on being in and outside of law




Wilson, Tabias Olajuawon

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This dissertation is comprised of three chapters; Furtive Blackness: On Blackness and Being (“Furtive Blackness”), The Strict Scrutiny of Black and BlaQueer Life (“Strict Scrutiny”) and Sexual Profiling: BlaQueer Furtivity. It takes a fresh approach to both criminal law and constitutional law; particularly as they apply to African descended peoples in the United States. This is an intervention as to the description of the terms of Blackness in light of the social order but, also, an exposure of the failures and gaps of law. This is why the categories as we have them are inefficient to account for Black life. The way legal scholars have encountered and understood the language of law has been wholly insufficient to understand how law encounters human life. This work is about the hermeneutics of law. While I center case history and Black letter law, I am also arguing explicitly that the law has a dynamic life beyond the courtroom, a life of constructing and dissembling Black life. Together, these essays and exercises in legal philosophy are pointing toward a new method of thinking about law, a method that makes central the material reality of the Black—and BlaQueer—in black letter law.


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