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Queen of the VirginsPageantry and Black Womanhood in the Caribbean$
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M. Cynthia Oliver

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732429

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732429.001.0001

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date: 23 January 2019

“Fan Me”

“Fan Me”

Imperial versus Caribbean Femininities, 1493–1940

(p.21) Chapter One “Fan Me”
Queen of the Virgins

M. Cynthia Oliver

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the conditions in which a black queen could not only be imagined but also created, empowered, and sustained for almost 400 years. It explains that the emergence of the black beauty queen fulfills the role of a resistant woman that mocks the Victorian era notions of whiteness, femininity, imperialism, social classes, and slavery. It also notes that black beauty pageant queens use dancing, dance dramas, and tea meetings, as methods for mocking Western culture, showing that even black women can be qualified to perform things that only the members of the nobility and royalty could enjoy.

Keywords:   nobility, royalty, Western culture, black women, beauty queen, beauty pageant, Victorian era, slavery

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