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Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture
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Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  23 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
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,
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 15th 2005 by Routledge
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Zanna
Jan 09, 2014 Zanna rated it it was amazing
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
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Joshua Krathwohl
Oct 12, 2015 Joshua Krathwohl rated it really liked it
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.
Maddy Kundel
Mar 20, 2014 Maddy Kundel rated it liked it
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.
Elizabeth
Sep 26, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
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.
Jade Metzger
Aug 23, 2010 Jade Metzger rated it liked it
An awesome book. Great for any scholar in race, feminist, performance, sexuality, post colonization studies.
Esther
Dec 24, 2013 Esther rated it really liked it
Made me sad and mad, but great read
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