By E. Kornegay
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Extra info for A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin's Blues Project and Gospel Prose
What makes it a sexualized discourse? Allegory is extended metaphor: meaning that is not permanently affixed to that to which it is being likened. Allegory reflects the diachronic aspect of meaning-making in that it accounts for extant interpretations 32 A Queering of Black Theology or likenesses while allowing for new ones to emerge. Where metaphor creates permanent likenesses, allegory presumes change. ”85 Building on Benjamin, Marousis-Bush says, The form such an experience of the world takes is fragmentary and enigmatic; in it the world ceases to be purely physical and becomes an aggregation of signs .
50 The nonbourgeois, sensuous, and rejected nature of the black experience can only be expressed as blues: it “sums up the universal challenge, the universal hope, the universal fear . ”51 In the final analysis, the blues is a reflection of socio-sexual-religious black wholeness, which is the desired outcome of liberation. ”52 Sexual potential is the desire to explore sexual curiosity, erotic thoughts, and the sensuousness of the spirit. ”53 A blues body is a body that willingly expresses its sexual potential.
An excellent example of the interpretation of the gospel as black religious vernacular is stated in Baldwin’s novel Just Above My Head, by the character Arthur Montana. 11 42 A Queering of Black Theology In describing Crunch’s singing, Arthur reveals a revision of the gospel from something meant to condemn black people into a Gospel that connects black people one to another. 12 In this case a young black homosexual male speaks out of this “new” linguistic paradigm—black religious vernacular—a language of liberating himself from the psychological trap of metaphorical blackness: the collision between the metaphorical images (of blackness) created by Protestant Puritan ideology, Christianity, and black bodies.