Black Porn As Liberation[VIDEO]

Dr. Mireille Miller Young Studies Black Porn

Within Black Media Trust(#blackmediatrust), it is important to explore every element of Black Media as a site of consciousness arousing and US Black Culture as a space of Liberation; even Black Porn. Dr. Mireille Miller-Young studies Black Porn, so I have decided to study Dr. Mireille Miller-Young as she does such.

Dr. Mireille Miller-Young Studies Black Porn

During the past few years strong movements have developed among women and among homosexuals seeking their liberation. There has been some uncertainty about how to relate to these movements.

Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.

“The women’s liberation and gay liberation movement”
(Transcribed speech)
The Huey P. Newton Reader
Edited by David Hilliard and Donald Weise
pg 157

We should always be interested in how media represents us, and in which ways these representations are spread. As Dr. Mireille explains in this above video, Women of Afrikan and Asian descent have had their bodies photographed while in conditions of slavery and shared as postcards among Whyte peoples. This lack of control as sexual object has subjected these groups of Women to oversexualization to a myriad of forms.

And You Are A Person of Scholarly Studies In The Art Of Pornography…

I am! I am what you call a ‘porn scholar’. That species!

I am a professor at UC Santa Barbara, the department of Feminist Studies.

I study pornography and its history as a form of popular culture and film. But also as a kind of industry where people work, a labor industry. And I’m interested in the politics of race, both in terms of how people are represented in film and how people experience work in that industry if they’re people of color.

In this above pull quote from Dr. Mireille’s interview posted here, it is important that we focus on how she is situating porn, or pornography. Most importantly, how she is situating, or positioning, porn when it is Black Porn.

Most people that I discuss porn with, or most discussions of porn that I come across, do not treat Black Porn, or media defined as “pornography” with Black performers(“porn stars”), in same ways that they discuss Whyte Porn. As with most discussions in these United States, Whyte is a default, or assumed category.

Furthermore, she locates, or places, pornography, in general, in a category of labor, where work violations and Marxist analysis can be introduced. Typically, my findings are that people discuss pornography and performers of such as commodity and consumable product. For every #OscarsSoWhite type of protest for Black labor acknowledgement, how many hashtags presenting similar criticisms for Adult Video Awards being predominantly Whyte are there?

Dr. Mireille Miller-Young is liberating these performers, these entertainers, these workers, from being commodified and objectified as “product”. Dr. Mireille is also liberating us as consumers from a bondage that causes us to see these artists as simply stigmatized chattels of a sort, and allows us to envision them as humans that provide a service in a space of performance art.

So, Your Specialty is like people of color? So, is that Afrikan-Amerikkkan, Asian, Latina? All of That?

Yes. I did my first book with just(I’m finishing now) on Afrikan-Amerikkkan women because I felt like the histories that Latinas and Asian Women have, for example, are so complexed and different from each other that it would do the project injustice to put them all together. But, I do refer to my interviews with Women of Color from other races & ethnicities throughout the book and I’m hoping to do more on that work.

But, I also wanted to encourage scholars who are Asian and Latina to do that work, too. And, because I think that there’s nothing really on it and I’m the first academic to start this kind of field of study on Black Women and porn, or Black people. And, so, there’s a lot of work to do. But I hope to do more, on more people of color. But, I’m very interested in race, as an issue and I think that hasn’t been talked about enough in porn scholarship.

In a number of ways, I have dealt with this topic of a designation of specificity. Here, Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, addresses it as it relates to her fields of study, namely, Black Women and porn, or even Black People and Porn. As seen in this above video, her interviewer is not pressuring her. However, even without direct goading, there appears to be a need for her to address why her life’s work should reflect her life specifically as a US Black Woman.

Often, scholarship such as that explored and documented by Dr. Mireille Miller-Young doubles as activism. In that regard, historically, US Blacks have been featured as vanguard for various nationalities, ethnic origins, and racial groups across several epochs and movements from those occurring during what is dubbed that “Black Power” movement to Ferguson. Since US Blacks have inherited a legacy of anti-Whyte oppression, an obligation to represent every group also waging war against European encroachment.

Dr. Mireille Miller-Young wades this water with wisdom. She understands this mantle before her, yet also states more than once that she has a specific focus, while encouraging other scholars from these various backgrounds to lift up this work as it is presented and impacting their cultures.

It is important for me to reiterate that Dr. Mireille does indeed state that she would like to do more for other races and cultures in this field of porn studies. She makes sure to mention that those within various cultures and ethnic origins should delve into this awesome work, as well. She adamantly states a couple of times(Yes, I counted), that she is interested in race, which I will interpret as,”She wishes to contribute to a study of her people, US Blacks”.

How Far Do You Go Back As Far As Like History Of Porn Of People Of Color?

I go back in my works as early photography. I look at in fact when as soon as photography developed, and then film later, but in the mid-19th Century. So, of course porn people say its been around since the greeks and the egyptians, and if you look at the Babylonian sculptures or something, you know, you can see people having sex, and stuff like that.

But, there’s this like modern movement of porn that was, especially in literature, and drawings, that happened during the renaissance period. I’m not really as much interested in that as I am visual culture with like early photography and early fim, 19th century is when it starts. And from what you can see then, they were taking pictures of Black Women slaves, and Native American Women, and Women in the colonies. In Africa, South America, in Asia, SouthEast Asia. And circulating these sorts of pictures of them and their naked bodies as postcards, as collectible items, and private kinds of photographs that people traded. And so you could see there’s an early circulation and images of women of color in that period which was during colonialism and imperialism for much of the world of European countries and North American countries taking those images. So, I’m very interested in that period as like the foundation for what we see today.

Dr. Mireille presents her obvious passion for US Black culture without neglecting to mention various cultures existing outside of these United States, physically and temporally.

What she explains here is that, yes, there is a history of porn that possibly exists outside of modernity, her work is not totally reflective of that. Of course, her work must be influenced by these obvious trajectories, but her work is specific to US Black bodies in porn. Of which she points out her interest in studying and bringing to light photographed Black Women slaves, used in traded photos.

What Are Most Common Misconceptions About Sex Workers If They Are People of Color?

It comes from two directions.

One is from people of color communities. Which is an important one because those are the communities people of color live and are situated in. We have families there, right?

Which is that you’re selling out. That you’re kind of signing on to exploitation and racism. And making racism worse for everybody else. Right?

By participating in what they feel are stereotypical images or understandings. Because largely, people of color have been exoticized and hypersexualized, and seen as having a deviant sexuality. And so, because pornography is seen as deviant, and for a long time was considered obscenity and illegal. And in many places continues to be.

The feeling of people of color in a lot of communities is that you’re kind of co-signing on that. You’re participating in making the community look bad. So, you don’t have good politics. And you’re an embarrassment. And you’re creating shame for the community. A really powerful shame.

And the other perception is mainly coming from Whyte people who predominantly have had this knowledge passed on to them that people of color are hypersexual. And so they may think that they are naturally that way. Instead of performing in character. Or performing in a film that has a script.

That those kind of people of color sex workers really are just representations of how all Black Men have big Black dicks.

And how Women of Color really are just more kinky and want sex more than everyone else.

Bi-Directional Stigma Of Black Porn

When asked about misconceptions about Black sex laborers, Dr. Mireille states that stigma develops from two directions. These directions are from:

  • Black Communities that these workers come from projecting a politics of respectability
  • Whytes seeking to project myths of Blacks as savage and oversexed

Both causes derive from a need to justify rape and forced subordination of US Black Women. US Slavery reduced US Blacks to 3/5ths of human, objectified Black Women as breeders of children subject to enslavement and forcibly removed, while holding Black Men in a social position that made it punishable by a fate worst than death to defend their families, or even their own bodies. Dr. Mireille’s work explores how Black Women in a field defined as deviant find a liberation of Self.