No Tea



“Miss Hannah’s Lesson,” and SDiane Adamz Bogus’s “The Champagne

Lady.” These texts all revise history by instantiating the black lesbian

subject over and against what Richardson calls “disremembering,” or the

pro cess by which black lesbian subjects are deliberately forgotten or “unmourned”

in the recounting of black cultural history. In a similar vein to

Toni Morrison’s argument that the white literary canon is always haunted

by a black presence, Richardson’s text represents a major intervention in

African American literary and feminist studies by suggesting that there

has always already been a black queer lesbian presence in the black literary

canon. 30 Richardson’s work is apropos as he argues that “historically, black

has been inextricably tied to the queer— the lesbian in par tic u lar.” 31

In addition to these three emergent areas in black queer studies, there

is yet another nascent area of research on black transgender subjects

emerging. Although, as of this writing, there is still no manuscript- length

study on black transgender people, there exists a feature documentary film

titled Still Black (2008), by trans filmmaker, scholar, and activist Kortney

Ziegler (who has an essay in this volume); a number of articles, including

Enoch H. Page and Matt Richardson’s “On the Fear of Small Numbers”;

as well as a number of self- identified black transgender or gender- variant

scholars. 32 Despite the increased visibility of black trans scholars, their

work does not necessarily focus on transgender research. More frequently,

they are producing work on gender nonconformity and/or gender variance,

including two essays in this volume. Nonetheless, there is a clear

sign that black transgender studies is taking hold as a legitimate form of

critical analy sis in the acad emy.

Of course, there are numerous other new areas of inquiry in black queer

studies since the publication of Black Queer Studies, and even more so in

the social sciences. The point I am trying to make here, however, is that

the promise upon which Mae G. Henderson and I (and the contributors

in that volume) hedged our bets has been fulfilled.

No Tea, No Shade comprises nineteen essays from a variety of disciplines,

including African American studies, American studies, anthropology, sociology,

film studies, history, literary studies, per for mance studies, and urban

studies, though most of the scholars are decidedly interdisciplinary. Apropos

of the authors’ background, I chose not to cluster the essays under

thematic headings but rather to let each essay stand on its own— although

the proximity of some essays to each other was inspired by some overlap in

method or theme.

14 • E. Patrick Johnson