What Future?: Imagining The Child of Color in Response to Lee Edelman’s No Future

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Lee Edelman's No Future devotes great attention to describing the symbolic figure of the Child, the image toward which all politics bends. Edelman adeptly decribes how the Child is employed as a tool in the oppression of queer people, who, because they do not participate in the reproductive futurity represented by the Child, are depicted as a threat to it. Yet, in all Edelman's care in describing this figure, one characteristic escapes: that the Child is- and must be- white. This essay describes the ways in which a symbolic Child of Color cannot fulfill the figurative duty of Edelman's (white) Child, and the implications of that fact on the material lives of children of color.

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