Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

First Advisor

Tiffany King

Second Advisor

Susan Talburt

Third Advisor

Amira Jarmakani

Fourth Advisor

Julie Kubala


What do Black Lives Matter and Freaknik have in common? In this paper, I will argue that moments of Black Lives Matter in Atlanta exhibited refusals and undoings of respectability politics through the method of the ratchet. I define the ratchet as moments of non-normative embodiment and political possibility that refuse statist and Eurocentric norms through slippage of the self and the engagement of Black queer sexual politics. Freaknik is foregrounded as a ripe space for excavating such a display of the politically ratchet in Atlanta. I will look at a few different moments in the Black Lives Matter movement in the city of Atlanta and read each for currents of ratchetness and respectability, highlighting the importance of the ratchet in political imagination and possibility.