Feminism: After Spillers

cross section drawing of ship carrying enslaved people


But I would make a distinction in this case between ‘body’ and ‘flesh’ and impose that distinction as the central one between captive and liberated subject-positions. In that sense, before the ‘body’ there is the ‘flesh,’ that zero degree of social conceptualization that does not escape concealment under the brush of discourse, or the reflexes of iconography.

—Hortense Spillers

Black feminism is not simply a critique of the performance of subjectivity; it is a critique of subjectivity itself.