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Patricia Hill Collins, a University of Cincinnati professor, speaks about racism and sexuality at Logan Hall on Friday. [Scott Hong/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

Patricia Hill Collins candidly discussed sexual violence in the black community before a mixed crowd of students and faculty members on Friday.

Collins' lecture in Logan Hall focused on the topic of her upcoming book Black Sexual Politics.

She stated that in this "era of desegregation" the lines between traditionally gendered sexual behaviors are being blurred.

"Lynching and rape are not nearly as gender specific as one might think," she said.

Collins, the Charles Phelps Taft Professor of Sociology and a professor in the department of African American Studies at the University of Cincinnati, talked about historical differences in how blacks viewed violence toward men and women.

While there was a huge movement of protest against the lynching of men in the community, in reference to rape, she said, "Black women were encouraged to keep quiet in order to subdue the idea of their wanton sexuality."

Instead of talking about the more traditional aspects of sexualized power that are addressed in her book, Collins read mainly from a chapter on how the prison system in the United States helps perpetuate sexual violence in black homes.

"Judging by the media, rape is accepted as a common force of prison," Collins said. She brought up the fact that in many of today's movies, rapes occurring in jail are considered humorous.

The reputations of men in jail, she explained, are often based on whether they are the victims or perpetrators of rape. Once a man has been raped, the only way for him to escape his emasculated fate is to rape somebody else, she said.

Another issue Collins addressed was that "black women do not want to claim an identity of being a victim," and for black men, this is even more true, so many remain silent after being sexually assaulted.

Collins said that she intended for her forthcoming book to be accessible to everyone from undergraduates to her colleagues, and that is why it is taking her so long to complete the work.

Some of the attendees came in order to supplement their sociology courses. But College freshman Kelly Cregg came for a different reason.

"I just wanted to see a different dimension," she said. "I really enjoyed it."

Collins said she enjoyed giving the lecture as well. She commented, "There are different personalities of audiences I speak to. I'm pleased that I got a pretty good match."

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