By Deborah Willis

As a tender South African lady of approximately twenty, Saartjie Baartman, the so-called 'Hottentot Venus', was once dropped at London and put on express in 1810. Clad within the Victorian identical of a physique stocking, and paraded throughout the streets and on level in a cage she grew to become a human spectacle in London and Paris. Baartman's exact body grew to become the item of ridicule, interest, medical inquiry, and wish until eventually and after her untimely loss of life. The determine of Sarah Baartman was once diminished to her sexual elements. "Black Venus 2010" strains Baartman's reminiscence in our collective histories, in addition to her symbolic historical past within the development and identification of black girls as artists, performers, and icons. The wide-ranging essays, poems, and photographs in "Black Venus 2010" characterize the most compelling responses to Baartman. each grapples with the long-lasting legacy of this younger African girl who ceaselessly continues to be a touchstone for black girls. members comprise: Elizabeth Alexander, Holly Bass, Petrushka A Bazin, William Jelani Cobb, Lisa Gail Collins, Renee Cox, J. Yolande Daniels, Carole Boyce Davies, Leon de Wailly, Manthia Diawara, Diana Ferrus, Cheryl Finley, Nikky Finney, Kianga okay. Ford, Terri Francis, Sander Gilman, Renee eco-friendly, pleasure Gregory, Lyle Ashton Harris, Michael D. Harris, Linda Susan Jackson, Kellie Jones, Roshini Kempadoo, Simone Leigh, Zine Magubane, E. Ethelbert Miller, Robin Mitchell, Charmaine Nelson, Tracey Rose, Radcliffe Roye, Bernadette Searle, Lorna Simpson, Debra S. Singer, Penny Siopis, Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Walker, Michele Wallace, Carla Williams, Carrie Mae Weems, J. T. Zealy, and the editor.

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Extra info for Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottentot"

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Abele De Blasio, “Steatopigia in prostitute,” Archivio di psichiatria 26 (1905): 257–264. 46. Jefferson commented on the heightened sensuality of the black in slavery in his Notes from Virginia (1782); Diderot, in his posthumously published fictional Supplément au voyage de Bougainville (1796), represented the heightened sexuality of the inhabitants of Tahiti as examples of the nature of sexuality freed from civilization. See the general discussion of this theme in Alexander Thomas and Samuel Sillen, Racism and Psychiatry (New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1972), 101ff.

The aristocracy did not have to justify their standing; it was a result of birth. ”34 Membership into the bourgeoisie was tenuous, and depended in part on proper behavior. This new emphasis on proper conduct turned greater scrutiny upon the peasants and workers in their midst, and it affected bourgeois relationships with other representations of difference or perceived abnormalities. Many members of the middle classes did not believe that the uncivilized lived only in Africa. ”35 With the shift to a bourgeois worldview, “civilization” was no longer a given—it needed to be constructed as a product of work and effort.

George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle, Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1901), 307; and Eugen Holländer, Äskulap und Venus: Eine Kultur- und Sittengeschichte im Spiegel des Arztes (Berlin: Propyläen, 1928). Much material on the indebtedness of the early pathologists to the reports of travelers to Africa can be found in the accounts of the autopsies presented below. One indication of the power of the image of the Hottentot still possessed in the late nineteenth century is to be found in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876).

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Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottentot" by Deborah Willis
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