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key words: racial fetishism, ritual scopophilia, Mapplethorpe, Frantz Fanon, memento mori, sadistic forms of incorporation, lynching-castration scene as Southern "primal scene," negrophobic response to the black penis, Tarzan, James Baldwin

Marriott uses a psychoanalytic approach to positioning the controversy around Mapplethorpe's photograph within a history of representation of the black penis. He argues that a residual context of photographic representation of the lynching-castration scene is inescapable. He uses literature and photography to examine the ritual scopophilia that surrounds the black penis, fetishizing it as a means of taming its threat. The visual representation of the black man and the centrality of the penis within such representations suggests the ontological reduction of the black male body to genital sexuality.