• Title: Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture
  • Author: Janell Hobson
  • ISBN: 9780415974028
  • Page: 326
  • Format: Paperback
  • Venus in the Dark Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture Western culture has long been fascinated by black women but a history of enslavement and colonial conquest has variously labeled black women s bodies as exotic and grotesque In this remarkable cultur
    Western culture has long been fascinated by black women, but a history of enslavement and colonial conquest has variously labeled black women s bodies as exotic and grotesque In this remarkable cultural history of black female beauty, Janell Hobson explores the enduring figure of the Hottentot Venus In 1810, Saartjie Baartman was taken from South Africa to Europe,Western culture has long been fascinated by black women, but a history of enslavement and colonial conquest has variously labeled black women s bodies as exotic and grotesque In this remarkable cultural history of black female beauty, Janell Hobson explores the enduring figure of the Hottentot Venus In 1810, Saartjie Baartman was taken from South Africa to Europe, where she was put on display at circuses, salons, and museums and universities as the Hottentot Venus The subsequent legacy of representations of black women s sexuality from Josephine Baker to Serena Williams to hip hop and dancehall videos continues to refer back to this persistent icon This book analyzes the history of critical and artistic responses to this iconography by black women in contemporary photography, film, literature, music, and dance.

    One Reply to “Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture”

    1. We only need to remember Sara Baartman to realise that a slogan such as 'Black is beautiful' is never superficial and always political.The treatment of Sara Baartman, the original embodiment of the 'Hottentot Venus', a Khoisan woman who was brought from South Africa to England and Paris around 1810 and exhibited is the jumping off point for this academic work. Hobson first investigates and critiques the construction of black female beauty/sexuality by white supremacy. I was struck by the points [...]

    2. I love any book that includes an examination of non-white women in popular culture, because more of this scholarship only examines white women. Hobson should have included Black women in music, television, videos, and advertising, but she mainly looked at theatre, art, and indie films, which are items not in the mainstream and so less well known. All in all, a great book for my women & popular culture class.

    3. Overall and in short, this was a good book in that it delves deep into the hypersexualization and creation of the black Venus. Though Hobson had *many* periods of rambling, lost thesises, and extreme overuse of sources--all of which made a couple of her ideas lost in a sea of confusion and someone else's words.

    4. Really great book with good analysis of visual art, Toni Morrison, and Ngozi Onwurah's video works and how black beauty aesthetics have been distorted, evolved, and shaped (in positive and negative ways). Somewhat dated, but still a really good text.

    5. An awesome book. Great for any scholar in race, feminist, performance, sexuality, post colonization studies.

    6. Often over my head, but I'm still glad I spent the time to read it. Hoping to read more supporting literature, and return to reread once I feel I could do it justice.

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