Queering Black Herstory: Janelle Monae and Gladys Bentley

When I began to research Harlem Renaissance pianist and singer Gladys Bentley a little over a year ago, I was struck by her similarity to Janelle Monae, who had then just released her second album,“ArchAndroid.” Monae’s gender-queer look–black tuxedo, black-and-white saddle shoe–is strongly reminiscent of Bentley’s trademark black-or-white tuxedo, top hat and cane. And in […]

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