Margin Me: Intentional Marginality in the Queered Borderlands of Hip-hop

  • Stephany Spaulding


In popular discourse the tropes of the center and margin evoke relationships of contestation and discord, to say the least. Within the center is worth, validation, and hegemonic power, contrasted by the lack thereof and exclusion for those relegated to lives on the boundaries of social strata. The further one is from the border, the further one exists in a space of “normal” as suggested in Anzaldua’s seminal text, Borderlands/La Frontera. Though the Texas-US/Mexican border serves as the geopolitical border reference, we learn that borders are symbolic, spatial, psychological, social, and spiritual. “In fact, the Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where under, lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the spaces between two individuals shrink with intimacy,” writes Anzaldua (1999: 17). It is a space used to demarcate safe and unsafe, comfort and displeasure, acceptance and rejection. Yet, when we examine black states of desire through queered borderland lenses, new ways of exploring and interrogating these tropes emerge by identifying acts and actors that trouble the notion of the “center” and the “margin.”1


Metaphorical Conception Queer Theory White Supremacy Black State Intentional Marginality 
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© Anne Crémieux, Xavier Lemoine, and Jean-Paul Rocchi 2013

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  • Stephany Spaulding

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