Them Goon Rules
Fugitive Essays on Radical Black Feminism
A series of essays that reads like a critical memoir, this work queries the function and implications of politicized Blackness, Black feminism, and queerness. Bey binds together his personal experiences with social justice work at the New York–based Audre Lorde Project, growing up in Philly, and rigorous explorations of the iconoclasm of theorists of Black studies and Black feminism. Bey’s voice recalibrates itself playfully on a dime, creating a collection that tarries in both academic and nonacademic realms.
Fashioning fugitive Blackness and feminism around a line from Lil’ Wayne’s “A Millie,” Them Goon Rules is a work of “auto-theory” that insists on radical modes of thought and being as a refrain and a hook that is unapologetic, rigorously thoughtful, and uncompromising.
“Them Goon Rules is a provocative and compelling interdisciplinary trans-feminist read of American society and culture from a Black perspective.” —Regina N. Bradley, English and African Diaspora Studies, Kennesaw State University“Marquis Bey has gifted us with more than a collection of essays about Blackness, feminism, and queerness—it is a tome for and with the ‘ontologically criminalized.’ Bey demonstrates a distinctive radical vulnerability that can only be the result of working in and through a Black queer feminist lens. Unapologetically, this text dances, bends, moves, breaks open and through language—an elaborated nah! There is powerful poetry here asking that we, scholars who believe in freedom, interrogate our own methods and motives again and again. This book is courageous as it dwells, a break in the break. A must-read for any scholar, poet, or (non)human seeking the spectacular possibility of taking flight.” —Kai M. Green, Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Williams College
“Bey challenges those of us who are committed to Black justice to approach every day with the force of revolution. By refiguring Black freedom-making in this way, we are able not only to ‘steal life back’ from a white fickle normativity but also to enwrap that life in the promise of escape.”—Hashim Pipkin, The Opportunity Network
“Them Goon Rules is an exciting collection of essays—brimming with insight, inspiration, love, and rage, the book leads readers through an urgent set of questions about the body, identity, race, place, sex, Blackness, subversion, and gender. Offering what Bey at one point calls a ‘fugitive praxis,’ this book believes in transformation and shows us how it is done! Brilliant!”—Jack Halberstam, author of Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Guide to Gender Variance