The ways in which horror is defined as a genre are largely based on the centering of the white male perspective. Monstrosity and terrors are named according to the things that are deemed frightening by the societal majority. Maintaining this focus not only limits how the genre and definitions can grow but also erases the experiences of marginalized groups, specifically, Black females. The very existence of a Black female and the nuances of Black femininity are often horrific in ways that are rarely examined, especially in horror fiction. Even after the assignation of monstrosity, Black female monsters are not afforded the power nor the sympathy given to other traditional monsters. Black females often experience the real life monsters and gain the title of monstrosities early in life, considering that by the age of eighteen, 60% of Black girls will have experienced sexual assault. There is also lifelong fear instilled by the ways society allows as acceptable in modeling black femininity, often resulting in real danger for Black women, especially those in the LGBTQ community, specifically, transgendered females. Additionally, there is a specifically female terror that can surface at the aspect of a parasite growing inside one’s body during pregnancy. The overwhelming fear of having an entire reality rendered invisible haunts many Black females who rarely see themselves and their lives played out in the horror genre.
Addressing this erasure and accepting the experiences of Black femininity as valid would open up the parameters of what defines horror and monstrosity with fresh insights.
Presented by Rhonda Jackson Garcia