FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 || 3 | 4 |   ...   | 20 |

«POWER, MONEY, AND SEX(UALITY): THE BLACK MASCULINE PARADIGM A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and ...»

-- [ Page 2 ] --

Novels like Thomas Dixon’s, The Leopard’s Spots (1902) and The Clansman (1905)—which presented black men as half-human, halfanimal stalkers who sought to rape white women—and The Birth of the Nation and similar films translated the brute image into a fixed visual form. Newspapers perpetuated the brute image through the savage language used to refer to black men. The Arkansas Gazette in 1927 records the following comments about a lynching: “Mob’s Lynching of Negro Brute Starts Trouble. Black Attacks Mother and Daughter West of City. Is Hanged to Pole. Captured After Long Search Through Wooded Region. Confesses He Is Guilty.” Comparatively, the New York Amsterdam News reports the same story: “Little Rock Mob Lynches Youth. Had Been Accused of Attacking a Mother and Her Daughter.” Clearly one can see how negative language and images affect representation. With decades of dehumanizing presentations, negative images found a permanent place in the black male’s consciousness and in America’s national narrative. As a result of internalizing these images, some black men today have become super-masculine to survive certain social environments and/or to gain masculine status;

simultaneously, they become a threat to themselves, black women, and society.

–  –  –

independent film and video to the larger cultural project of redefining masculinity. Nonetheless, these scholars eschew the ways in which cinematic representations of black men often betray a subtext of hostility and misappropriation in their analyses. Elizabeth Alexander’s “We’re Gonna Deconstruct Your Life!: The Making and Un-Making of the Black Bourgeois Patriarch in Ricochet” contends that the film invents a prototypical black bourgeois family of the 1980s and then dismantles it entirely (157). Alexander reveals the fundamental fragility of black economic progress in the film and white male antagonism towards such progress. While Alexander primarily focuses on black men in mainstream Hollywood films, Wahneema Lubiano’s “But Compared to What: Reading Realism, Representation, and Essentialism in School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and the Spike Lee Discourse” focuses on black films as spectacles of African American Cultural Production. The BMP utilizes Lubiano’s analysis to explain how these films are also problematic when portraying black men and to expose the filmmakers’ inability to remain fully aware of the importance of casting various black male representations in the media.

While Alexander and Lubiano argue that these negative depictions of black men make them representative victims of white popular media, Michele Wallace argues that black men, on and off camera, promote negative images about themselves, and that being black politically correct “is precisely the issue when it comes to the general inability of the dominant culture to take black people seriously and to see them as [diverse] human beings” (300). Thus, it becomes imbedded in both the white and black psyches that certain ways of acting or behaving represented in films, are indeed black. As long as the media’s failure to portray diversity among black men reinforces negative images, the identity of black men will always be seen as monolithic and politically problematic. A problematic identity restricts black men to particular social spheres.

Like the representation of black men in film, images of black athletes are also troublesome. Eva Bosenberg and Lindon Barrett

–  –  –

Constructions of Black Masculinity in the NBA” maintains that Shaquille O’Neal, Dennis Rodman, and Michael Jordan embody three different versions of masculinity. Their popularity hinges on the manner in which each responds to stereotypes of black men (682). Shaq represents brute force and physicality due to his size; Rodman is the black chameleon that pushes the performance of masculinity without feeling threatened; and Jordan exists between the two because he is the least aggressive and easier to mold. In regard to athletes, the BMP is not only concerned with physicality but also with how their popularity and wealth/materialism translate into a facet of masculinity that informs economic and social mobility. Specifically, the BMP analyzes the masculine paradox that allows the cultural elevation of Jordan and Shaq to “coexist with the [general] economic and political marginality of [everyday] African-American males” (Gates XV). I contend Jordan and Shaq’s elevated status relies on a preconceived notion about black men. They are performers, objects appealing to and conditioned by the white male gaze—which permits these athletes only a limited function within the current narrative.

At the center of the national narrative is racism, which effectively alienates black men from the social institutions that are designed to prepare them to be productive citizens. Further, because preconceived notions about the capabilities of black men in certain situations permeate these institutions, black men are destined to fail. For example, schools that require uniforms are forced to confront black males who alter the look of the uniform by sagging their pants and clipping their ties to their shirt pockets. Driven by a compulsion to look “cool” and/or definitively black and male, a characteristic that within the student’s cultural environment endows status, the student reinforces the popular conception of young black men as rule breakers/trouble makers. When the institution enforces its rule, as it must, the student is extracted from the institution and possibly loses the opportunity to reap its benefits. The false dichotomy between status and participation in traditional societal structures is reinforced and the negative consequences of the divide result in further black male alienation that restricts social and economic mobility.

These internalized racial notions—and their prescription of failure— cause an alienation, “which entails an immediate recognition by black men of social and economic realities [that support] an inferiority complex” (Fanon 13). Black men’s internalizing of these racist notions makes it difficult for them to conform to societal norms. “The Assassination of the Black Male Image,” by Earl Ofari Hutchinson and Paul Hoch’s White Hero Black Beast: Racism, Sexism and the Mask of

–  –  –

Hutchinson posits that the image of the malevolent black male is based on durable and time-resistant myths, half-truths, and lies. He further explains that this “image was created during the European conquest of Africa, nurtured during slavery, artfully refined during segregation, and revived during the Ronald Reagan—George BushNewt Gingrich years” (15). Thus, many have profited handsomely from the lucrative growth industry America has fashioned out of black-male

–  –  –

education, it may be that African-Americans learn differently and need a more efficient educational design. The same can be said for health care, welfare, and other institutions that aid Americans. Most of these institutions have a hegemonic base and design and have paid little or no attention to the conditioning of African-Americans. Many African Americans have proven that they can adapt to and benefit from these institutions, but many more would if the base of these institutions were redesigned with diversity in mind. Black men and women have always had to situate their existence within white social institutions.

The representations that racism disrupts for them must be decolonized internally in order to decolorize them nationally. Black men in particular need to equip themselves with tools that allow them to navigate within American social institutions in order to increase social and economic mobility.

The BMP locates social alienation, sexual paranoia, and Fanon’s idea of epidermalization at the core of the formation of black masculine identity and examines how these are negotiated in response to social and personal imperatives, responsibilities and problems. In regard to race, the BMP specifically utilizes Maurice Wallace’s notion of identity politics and the burden of black male specularity. Wallace asserts that images of black men are “ideographs for the American propensity to see black men half-blindly as a blank/black page onto which the identity theme of American whiteness imprints itself as onto a photographic negative” (32). This process, spectragraphia, is so

–  –  –

images/representations of the black male body as viewed by society, especially negative ones. Spectragraphia partially explains why black men are not viewed as individuals and why physicality is so important to their masculine identity. The BMP maps the various ways racism affects black males.

When one combines the politics of race, as mentioned earlier, with the politics of sexuality, black men are faced with a double-edged

–  –  –

problematic as race disrupts the quest. Black men often equate masculinity with white men; yet, most of the time black men lack access to that masculine design. Consequently, black men need to assemble a masculine identity that allows unity with black women and that recasts popular media images as individual representations rather than racial and/or cultural ones. Such recasting is necessary, according to bell hooks’s “Doing it For Daddy,” because the drive for white masculinity, presented as an ideal in America, only serves to strengthen white male hegemony, “leaving black males tortured by an unrequited longing for white male love” (98). This torture manifests in

–  –  –

advertising, hooks suggests, socialize black males to see themselves as always lacking, as always subordinated to more powerful white males whose approval they need to survive (99). This socialization process is important to white male patriarchy and essential to its maintenance of masculinity. Thus, the masculinity that black men seek to replicate encourages them to embrace a worldview where white men are all-powerful, forming the “white man keeping me down syndrome.” While hooks suggests that black men’s longing to replicate white masculinity is mostly problematic for black men, Derrick Bell’s “The Race-Charged Relationship of Black Men and Black Women” and Daniel Black’s Dismantling Black Manhood: A Historical and Literary Analysis of the Legacy of Slavery both examine how hooks’s concept of “white male love” affects black women as well. Bell maintains that “racism has exacerbated for blacks the always-difficult social relationship between men and women” (198). That is, black men are so

–  –  –

counterparts that they fail to understand that the legacy of slavery has conditioned black women to need stability from black men rather than their protection. Similarly, Black argues that the institution of slavery

–  –  –

supplementing these with the characteristics of sexual prowess, materialism, and household domination, which disrupt the black family and community. A more desirable option would be that black men recast the whole protective role to a form that allows them to become one with black women in order to effectively confront the common enemy: racism Criticism on the effects of white/ideal masculinity informs the BMP’s exploration of how struggling to achieve ideal masculinity causes more problems for black men then it solves. Relatively, the

–  –  –

masculinity: decolonizing heterosexuality and the recuperation of Afrocentric concepts. Michael Awkward’s “A Black Man’s Place(s) in Black Feminist Criticism” offers feminism as a “fruitful, potentially nonoppressive means of reconceptualizing black masculinity” (21).

Feminism, however, has its own problems with masculinity as it struggles to be recognized as an individual construct. Also, if even some black women have problems with feminism, black men who reconstruct their masculinity through its lens will only be placing themselves into another frame of identity that is not their own.

Black Looks, by bell hooks, provides a more appropriate framework for reconstructing black masculinity. Because ideal masculinity fails black men, hooks calls for black men, and black people in general, to “break with hegemonic modes of seeing, thinking, and being that block their capacity to see [themselves] oppositionally, to imagine, describe, and invent [themselves] in ways that are liberatory” (2). Thus, in order for black men to begin to reconstruct a more representative masculine identity, they need to remove the lens of white hegemony and reconstruct this identity into more diverse versions that they can control. This diversity creates a new black male specularity, that in turn increases social mobility, because the black male identity is no longer a monolithic construct. This act is difficult because black masculinity is a subjectivity that is organized within the structures of control and authority (Chapman and Rutherford 1). Consequently, black men are simultaneously constructing and not constructing their masculinity.

Unlike the above critics who call for a reorganization of ideal masculinity, Nai’im Akbar presents a new “vision” of black men. This vision is conceived within an Afrocentric context. Basically, Akbar calls for black men to recuperate African concepts of masculinity that were lost and destroyed by slavery. However, Akbar’s vision is difficult to achieve because there is no single definition/moment of recognition of manhood or a clear-cut and universal rite of passage in American society, except heterosexuality. Also race complicates any attempt to develop a rite of passage for black men. Positioning heterosexuality as the authorizer of masculinity locks black men into a fixed male identity that needs to be deconstructed.

Pages:     | 1 || 3 | 4 |   ...   | 20 |

Similar works:

«Issued in December 2014 For professional clients only. Not for re-distribution. Schroders Multi-Asset Investments and Portfolio Solutions A (mis)calculated risk: How focusing on the wrong risk has undermined wealth preservation strategies 1 trusted heritage advanced thinking Executive summary “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1” – Warren Buffett The world’s most successful investor is keenly aware of the power of compounding and how it works both for and...»

«A Reappraisal of State-Owned Banks Eduardo Levy Yeyati Alejandro Micco Ugo Panizza* February 2007 Forthcoming in Economia Abstract We revisit the public banks debate, survey the theoretical arguments and test the robustness (and expand) the existing empirical evidence. While we find some support for the view that public banks do not allocate credit optimally, we also report indicative evidence that they exert a positive influence on private bank efficiency, and may contribute to reduce credit...»

«International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities Vol. 7, No. 1 (2014), pp. 46-51 www.irssh.com ISSN 2248-9010 (Online), ISSN 2250-0715 (Print) Meritocracy0 versus Mediocrity-1: and Mediocrity Won: The Case of the Nigerian Federal Character Principle (FCP) Olusoji George Department of Business Administration University of Lagos, Nigeria E-mail: golusoji@unilag.edu.ng Oluwakemi Owoyemi Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, University of Lagos, Nigeria E-mail:...»

«ADBI Working Paper Series Finance for Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises in India: Sources and Challenges Charan Singh and Kishinchand Poornima Wasdani No. 581 July 2016 Asian Development Bank Institute Charan Singh is the RBI Chair professor of economics, Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India. Kishinchand Poornima Wasdani is a consultant at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India. The views expressed in this paper are the views of the author and do not...»

«Mark McGann Blyth mark.blyth@jhu.edu Professor of International Political Economy Department of Political Science Brown University Providence RI, USA Professional Positions 2009 – Present: Brown University Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Political Science 2005-2009: The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD. Associate Professor of Political Science 1997-2005: The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD. Assistant Professor of Political Science Education...»

«A Guide for Established Businesses Special thanks to Tri-County Community College Small Business Center, Murphy, NC www.tricountycc.edu Business Plan for an Established Business   This business plan consists of a narrative and several financial spreadsheets. The narrative template is the body of the business plan. It contains more than 150 questions divided into several sections. Work through the sections in any order you like, except for the Executive Summary, which should be done last. Skip...»

«SAP Financial Services Forum – Detailed Agenda October 21-22, 2014 New York City, New York Financial Services Forum | Day 1 – October 21 Registration Opens 8:00 am 9:00 am – 9:10 am Introduction and Welcome Mike Cowles, SVP and General Manager, Financial Services, SAP 9:10 am – 9:30 am SAP Vision Jen Morgan, President, SAP North America 9:30 am – 10:30 am Future of Financial Services Ross Wainwright, Global Head of Financial Services, SAP including Guest Speaker Willie Stegmann, CIO...»

«Scott E. Yonker Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management Office: 201J Warren Hall Cornell University Phone: 607-255-1378 Ithaca, NY 14853-6201 Email: syonker@cornell.edu Appointments Assistant Professor June 2015 present Lynn A. Calpeter Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow in Finance Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY Visiting Assistant Professor July 2014 May 2015 Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY...»

«Centre for Local Economic Strategies CLES The power of procurement Towards progressive procurement: the policy and practice of Manchester City Council Matthew Jackson About CLES The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) is the leading membership based organisation in the UK dedicated to economic development, regeneration and local governance. Founded in 1986, CLES undertakes a range of activities including independent research, events and training, publications and consultancy. CLES also...»

«REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES Supreme Court Manila AKBAYAN, ET AL. Petitioners versusG.R. No. HON. THOMAS G. AQUINO, in For Mandamus and Prohibition his capacity as Chairman and With Application for Chief Delegate of the Philippine Temporary Restraining Order. Coordinating Committee for the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, et al. Respondents. x-x URGENT PETITION FOR MANDAMUS AND PROHIBITION With Application for a Temporary Restraining Order PETITIONERS, by counsel, respectfully...»

«Do Shareholders Listen? M&A Advisor Opinions and Shareholder Voting David Becher Department of Finance, Drexel University; Wharton Financial Institutions Center, University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, PA 19014, USA; tel: (215) 895-2274; e-mail: becher@drexel.edu Jay Cai Department of Finance, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19014, USA; tel: (215) 895-1755; e-mail: jaycai@drexel.edu Wenjing Ouyang Department of Finance, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19014, USA; tel: (215) 895-1741;...»

«Charcoal Briquette Enterprise Development March 5, 2014 Speakers: • John Mitchell, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency • Jean Kim Chaix, The Charcoal Project • Sylvia Herzog, The Charcoal Project • Saida Benhayoune, MIT, D-Lab Scale-Ups • Dan Sweeney, Massachusetts Institute of Technology D-Lab • Kendra Leith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology D-Lab Q1: Entrepreneurship capacities are not mentioned as one of the main challenges. Why? A1: When choosing partners, HFI pays special...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.