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Book: Embodiment and Black Religion

Chapter: 7. Hoodies and Headwraps: Everyday Religion and the Dressing of Black Bodies

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.27409


Using the events and controversies surrounding Trayvon Martin, Rachel Dolezal, and Sarah Valentine as case studies, Chapter 7 argues that dress and fashion are sites for both restrictive discursive constructions of black embodiment as well as expressions of the quest for complex subjectivity. Through Frantz Fanon’s understanding of the “historico-racial” schema that “fixes” bodies within an array of stereotypes and myths, this chapter begins by showing how fashion and dress can produce limited and/or dehumanizing understandings of identity, subjectivity, and embodiment. We then demonstrate how individual constructions of “fashion subjectivity” constitute an embodied push for meaning and more expansive ontological possibilities.

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