“A Dirty South Manifesto: Sexual Resistance and Imagination in the New South” by L. H. Stallings— The New Sex Wars

Stallings, L. H. “A Dirty South Manifesto: Sexual Resistance and Imagination in the New South”, University of California Press, 2019.

The New Sex Wars

Amos Lassen

The New South is the epicenter of the new sex wars.  It harbors antagonism toward reproductive freedom, partner rights, and transgender rights and has revealed “a new and unacknowledged era of southern reconstruction centered on gender and sexuality.”
H. Stallings looks at the roots of radical sexual resistance in the New South. This is a movement that is antiracist, decolonial, and transnational. What we see are manifestos for the new sex wars in South where “people within economically disenfranchised segments of society, those in sexually marginalized communities, and the racially oppressed, live in a sexual dystopia. Throughout this book, The focus is on contemporary Black southern life.

We reimagine the South as the Dirty South and see the multiple sites and literacies of sexual politics and resistance found throughout this new South. Stallings’ path to freedom is not limited to public protest, social movements, and electoral politics—“it also includes the underground, where strategies of decolonization and magic allow nonnormative joy, intimacy, and sexual pleasure to flourish.” Our current understandings of moral authority are challenged as we read of  a new vision of liberation and freedom. This is an important work as well as “important manifestos about queerness and southern-ness, about family and empire.”

We have here a necessary intervention that argues for renewed attention to the South and its cultural producers and products. We must get rid of what Stallings calls ‘settler sexuality’ which destroys the lifeblood out of the place we call home and the people we embrace who survive within it. What better place to home in on how to deal allowing white supremacy’ to come in.  Stallings provides “An exceptional and imperative queer feminist analysis of morality and Black sexual politics in the south” drawing on hidden archives to provide lessons for Black sexual freedom and resistance.  

Table of Contents



Slow Tongue Manifesto

Chapter 1
Dirt Manifesto

Chapter 2
Geophukit Manifesto

Chapter 3
T.R.A.P. (The Ratchet Alliance for Prosperity)

Chapter 4
WeUsIOurU Future Pronouns Manifesto

Chapter 5
Honeysuckle, Not Honey Sucka! Manifesto


Key Figures
Selected Bibliography

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