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Ayanna Dozier

Ayanna Dozier (PhD) is an artist and scholar. She is the author of Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope (2020) and is a lecturer in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University.

Janicza Bravo’s Zola

Zola (played by Taylour Paige) is rendered as an audience stand-in rather than an active force who managed to negotiate her safety during an attempt to sex traffic her on a “hoe trip.” Zola is more invested in the absolution of King’s actions that weekend. As such, the film overlooks King’s experience with sex work beyond the stripper’s pole.

bell hooks’s Heartbreak Church

Across her 40 years as an author, hooks prioritized film as the leading site of insurrectional possibility that could radicalize the body to practice love. Across criticism, theory, and interviews with filmmakers, hooks wrestled with the liberatory possibilities that Black feminism specifically brings to image-making.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues