Citation

Black Venuses: Black Washington, The Moens Scandal, and the Anxiety of New Negro Womanhood

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Abstract:

In 1916, Dutch scientist Herman M. B. Moens moved to the District of Columbia to study mixed race people. After having an application to work at the Smithsonian Institution denied, the scientist decided to conduct his research in black schools. The school board president, Dr. John Van Schaick, along with black leaders Robert Terrell and W.E.B. Du Bois endorsed Moens’ project. Two years into his study, Moens was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for potential spy activity. During a search of his living quarters, officials found nude photos of eight black teenage girls. The U.S. government prosecuted Moens for exhibiting obscene photos, though he claimed that they had scientific and artistic value.
The Moens scandal intervenes in a larger discussion regarding visual representations of black women. Typically examined through the Venus Hottentot, this paper repositions the context of the Moens photos by placing them in conversation with the Washington Bee’s depictions of black womanhood. Particularly, I examine how the Moens scandal affected the Bee’s views on black elite womanhood. By analyzing the Bee’s coverage of the scandal, this paper shows how black elite womanhood was negotiated at the intersection of beauty, virtue, and science.
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Association:
Name: 36th Annual National Council for Black Studies
URL:
http://www.ncbsonline.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p561015_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Carter, Derrais. "Black Venuses: Black Washington, The Moens Scandal, and the Anxiety of New Negro Womanhood" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 36th Annual National Council for Black Studies, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA, Mar 07, 2012 <Not Available>. 2014-11-24 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p561015_index.html>

APA Citation:

Carter, D. , 2012-03-07 "Black Venuses: Black Washington, The Moens Scandal, and the Anxiety of New Negro Womanhood" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 36th Annual National Council for Black Studies, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA <Not Available>. 2014-11-24 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p561015_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In 1916, Dutch scientist Herman M. B. Moens moved to the District of Columbia to study mixed race people. After having an application to work at the Smithsonian Institution denied, the scientist decided to conduct his research in black schools. The school board president, Dr. John Van Schaick, along with black leaders Robert Terrell and W.E.B. Du Bois endorsed Moens’ project. Two years into his study, Moens was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for potential spy activity. During a search of his living quarters, officials found nude photos of eight black teenage girls. The U.S. government prosecuted Moens for exhibiting obscene photos, though he claimed that they had scientific and artistic value.
The Moens scandal intervenes in a larger discussion regarding visual representations of black women. Typically examined through the Venus Hottentot, this paper repositions the context of the Moens photos by placing them in conversation with the Washington Bee’s depictions of black womanhood. Particularly, I examine how the Moens scandal affected the Bee’s views on black elite womanhood. By analyzing the Bee’s coverage of the scandal, this paper shows how black elite womanhood was negotiated at the intersection of beauty, virtue, and science.


Similar Titles:
The New Negro at Howard University: The Case of Historically Black Sororities and Black Womanhood

Black Washington's "Real, Prime Venuses": The Moens Scandal, Beauty, and the Making of New Negro Womanhood, 1917-1919

The New Negro at Howard University: The Case of Historically Black Sororities and Black Womanhood


 
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