“If You Don’t Bring No Grits, Don’t Come”: Critiquing a Critique of Patrick Kelly, Golliwogs, And Camp as A Technique of Black Queer Expression

  • 1 College of Art At University Of Edinburgh; , Edinburgh, UK


I have written this article in order to establish Patrick Kelly as a black forbearer of fashion. Kelly complicates our sense of fashion through his use of black memorabilia and camp to not only create something consumable but to comment on the black body as a consumable. Therefore, the role I play in acknowledging this black supernova, as Eric Darnell Pritchard calls him, is by critiquing Lewis and Fraley’s critique of Patrick Kelly and questioning why overtly expressing one’s queerness through camp has not been seen as a viable form of black expression in the mainstream narrative of black creativity. Lewis and Fraley’s complete dismissal of Kelly’s use of camp does not happen in a vacuum. Yet, I must remember that there is also the task of establishing a legacy of technique for Patrick Kelly. Who are his forbearers?

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Open Cultural Studies is a peer-reviewed journal exploring the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts. It interprets culture in an inclusive sense and promotes new research perspectives in cultural studies. The journal aims to enhance international collaboration among scholars from the Global North and the Global South and help early-career researchers. It is also committed to increasing public access to scholarship on cultural studies.