This book, which examines black visuality and performance, works against the black iconicity of which Spike Lee and his films are two of the largest proponents in post-1960s American culture. Do the Right Thing by Lee and its popular and critical reception exhibited the affective power of certain instantiations in black cultural production to produce a response to what is racialized as black: subjects, matter, space, experience. Blackness and black life become intelligible and valued, and consumable and disposable, through racial discourse. Black iconicity serves as a site for black audiences and the nation to gather around the seeing of blackness. Frantz Fanon is the starting point for many studies of black visuality and studies of race and subjectivity. “The Fanonian moment” sets a racial primal scene in which the black subject comes into self-knowing through the traumatic recognition of another's eyes. This introduction provides an overview of the chapters included in the book.
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