Crossin' Somebody's Line: Gay Black Men in HBO Serial Dramas



This thesis examines the roles of gay black men in three HBO programs: Six Feet Under, The Wire, and True Blood. Whereas such characters have always been stereotyped and ridiculed in the past, HBO has made strides forward thanks to its commitment to being on the cutting edge of narrative television. Drawing on Jasbir Puar's Terrorist Assemblages, the thesis argues that Omar Little of The Wire, and to a lesser extent Lafayette Reynolds of True Blood, add new dimensions of representation by presenting their queerness as an assemblage of diverse factors, rather than an intersection of discrete categories. Keith Charles of Six Feet Under is presented as a counterexample - a positive representation, but safer and less groundbreaking than those who came after.

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Posted by Dustin Jenkins