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Feels Right

Feels Right

Black Queer Women and the Politics of Partying in Chicago

Kemi Adeyemi
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In Feels Right Kemi Adeyemi presents an ethnography of how black queer women in Chicago use dance to assert their physical and affective rights to the city.

Adeyemi stages the book in queer dance parties in gentrifying neighborhoods, where good feelings are good business. But feeling good is elusive for black queer women whose nightlives are undercut by white people, heterosexuality, neoliberal capitalism, burnout, and other buzzkills.

Adeyemi documents how black queer women respond to these conditions: how they destroy DJ booths, argue with one another, dance slowly, and stop partying altogether. Their practices complicate our expectations that life at night, on the queer dance floor, or among black queer community simply feels good.

Adeyemi's framework of "feeling right" instead offers a closer, kinesthetic look at how black queer women adroitly manage feeling itself as a complex right they should be afforded in cities that violently structure their movements and energies. What emerges in Feels Right is a sensorial portrait of the critical, black queer geographies and collectivities that emerge in social dance settings and in the broader neoliberal city.

Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award recipient


Table of Contents:
Preface ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction 1
1. Slo 'Mo and the Pace of Black Queer Life 39
2. Where's the Joy in Accountability? Black Joy at Its Limits 62
3. Ordinary E N E R G Y 96
Conclusion: An Oral History of the Future of Burnout 120
Notes 143


Kemi Adeyemi is Associate Professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington and coeditor of Queer Nightlife.


  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (September 30, 2022)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1478018690
  • ISBN-13: 9781478018698
  • Item Weight: 15.7 ounces
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