On the Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness
To live in a body that is fat and Black is to exist at the margins of a society that creates the conditions for anti-fatness as anti-Blackness. Hyper-policed by state and society, passed over for housing and jobs, and derided and misdiagnosed by medical professionals, fat Black people in the United States are subject to socio-politically sanctioned discrimination, abuse, condescension, and trauma.
Fat people can be legally fired in 49 states for being fat and they’re more likely to experience homelessness. Fat people die at higher rates from misdiagnosis or nontreatment, fat women are more likely to be sexually assaulted, and, at the intersections of fatness, Blackness, disability, and gender, these abuses are exacerbated.
Da’Shaun Harrison—a fat, Black, disabled, and nonbinary trans writer—offers an incisive, fresh, and precise exploration of anti-fatness as anti-Blackness. They foreground the state-sanctioned murders of fat Black men and trans and nonbinary masculine people in historical analysis. From policing, disenfranchisement, to making invisible fat Black men, trans, and nonbinary masculine people, these are some of the most pervasive and insidious ways that anti-fat anti-Blackness shows up in everyday life.
In Da-Shaun’s writing and work they take on desirability politics, the limitations of gender, the connection between anti-fatness and the carceral system, as well as the incongruity of “health” and “healthiness” for the Black fat, illustrating the myriad harms of anti-fat anti-Blackness. They offer strategies for dismantling denial, unlearning the cultural programming that tells us “bad,” and destroying the world as we know it, so Black fat people can inhabit a place not built on their subjugation.
Join Da’Shaun in conversation as they discuss their latest book, Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness, as well as their life and work, and learn how we can all work to dismantle our cultural programming and create real change.
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