Exploring the combined racialization and sexualization of African American females, this essay first examines American modern history in which black women have been deemed contrary to the norms of heterosexuality and white patriarchy. I consider how such cultural stigmatization of black women’s sexuality has served to justify their exploitation and oppression in modern American history. This essay then addresses Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men (2006), a cinematic adaptation of British novelist P.D. James's 1992 book of the same title, in order to investigate how the discursive violence enacted on black females has been challenged or applied to post 9.11 global culture.
Paying attention to the film’s Americanization of James’s story such as obvious visual and verbal references to the US that are not in original, my essay explores how Cuarón’s cinematic text bears and interrogates the traces of white values and rhetorical strategies of American racial segregation. In this way, I analyze Children of Men as cultural space in which American racial and sexual discourses are questioned or articulated. My essay concludes that the film reinscribes the ideology of compulsory heteronormativity while powerfully criticizing the cultural logic of racial segregation.