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Critique Essay History Law/Legal Nonfiction Theory

The Shape of Angels’ Teeth: Toward a Blacktransfeminist Thought through the Mattering of Black(Trans)Lives

By Marquis Bey, 2016

This essay argues for a productive alliance between trans feminism, trans studies, and black feminist thought (BFT) to articulate a black feminist mode of activism that takes seriously the epistemologies of black trans women. Ultimately this essay critiques BFT’s cisgender normativity and offers a more inclusive imagining of BFT, referred to as blacktransfeminist thought (BTFT). To illustrate the scholarly significance of BTFT, I draw upon the ontological invalidation of black trans lives in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. #BlackLivesMatter is situated as (1) an exemplar of how black transgender women are commonly excluded from activist discourses, and (2) an opportunity to theorize the utility of BTFT as it relates to racialized gender variant lives and deaths. Keywords:Black feminist thought, Trans feminism, Blacktransfeminist thought, Cisgender privilege, Black Lives Matter

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