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Black Sexuality Collection

In the spring of 2009, the Kinsey Institute Library acquired a complete collection of black male erotica ranging from the early 1970s to 2000. The Dwoods Black Sexuality Collection is named after the donor, Dwoods, who began collecting at an early age, and who has contributed a variety of materials including periodicals, guidebooks, photographs, and films that explicitly display black male sexuality in a commercial format. According to Liana Zhou, Head of the Kinsey Institute Library, “this collection is one of the only collections in the library that is so comprehensive and so clearly defined.”

A selection of films, magazines, and text materials from the new Dwoods Black Sexuality Collection, donated to the Kinsey Institute Library in 2009.

Indeed, the breadth and scope of the collection gives evidence of a substantial market for these materials. While many scholars have acknowledged the existence of the fantasy of black male eroticism, until now little was known about the extent to which these interests were commercialized. As Zhou has pointed out, “the sheer size of this collection shows that the taboo exists not in the production of the material, but in the study of this type of material.”

Furthermore, this collection arrives at an opportune time, as studies of ethnicity and sexuality become more and more prevalent among scholars. Already being mined by academics, this collection will prove to be an invaluable resource to those interested in the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and the larger consumer landscape. To invite further exploration of the collection and to encourage further discussion on the topics of ethnicity and sexuality, The Kinsey Institute will be collaborating with the Black Film Center/Archive at the Herman B. Wells Library on IU's Bloomington campus, to host a conference on black sexuality in 2012.


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