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In Jezebel Unhinged, Tamura Lomax traces the use of the jezebel stereotype in the black church and black popular culture, showing how it is pivotal to reinforcing men’s cultural and institutional power to discipline and define black girlhood and womanhood. Drawing on writing by medieval thinkers and travelers, Enlightenment theories of race, the commodification of women’s bodies under slavery, and the work of Tyler Perry and Bishop T. D. Jakes, Lomax shows how black women are written into religious and cultural history as sites of sexual deviation. She identifies a contemporary black church culture where figures such as Jakes use the jezebel stereotype to suggest a divine approval of the “lady” and a divine censure of those seen as promiscuous (whores). Healing the black church, Lomax contends, will require ceaseless refusal of the idea that sin resides in black women’s and girls’ bodies, thus disentangling them from jezebel’s oppressive yoke.

Join us for a candid conversation with the author followed by book signing.

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