Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Jamie Marie Sommer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Will Tyson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Ponton III, Ph.D.


Absurdity, Black bodies, Gender, Identity, Reality, Sex, Time


How is “Reality” experienced in the Black body? Is “Reality” an objective article which is outside of the realm of personal experience? Assigned sex is often assumed an objective biological phenomenon that exists everywhere and in all communities. Gender is often thought about as a socially constructed form of identity which is expressed in various ways. In this thesis, I critically examine the terror of “reality” on the Black body, looking at the ways that Black people who’ve experienced discomfort with gender and sex categories experience the “world” around them. Diving deeply into their own experiences and the meanings they make for the “reality” around them. This thesis looks at gender and sex not as identities, but rather as tools of white supremacy which were forced on Black bodies. I specifically engage in in-depth conversations with participants who have communicated these discomforts with gender and sex categories, to bridge the conversation into race/racial violence, and the “nature” of “reality”.