“Flesh that Needs to Be Loved”
Recovering a Theology of Beauty and Black Life
Keywords:beauty, #sayhername, #blacklivesmatter, black women, womanist theology, Catholic theology
#SayHerName developed in reaction to the increase of police brutality cases that name black women as victims, signifying a pervasive issue. Interrogating the legacy of the black female body in North America, this article proposes a theology of beauty that considers black women as a primary subject. Theological aesthetics is not only a philosophical concern but represents a starting place for problematizing how black humanity is often excluded. Drawing on African American literary traditions and reflections from black Catholic theologians this article, primarily reflecting on events prior to 2020, argues for a theological response to systemic violence against black women’s bodies that articulates black life through theologies of beauty.
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