African American males occupy a historically unique social position, whether in school life, on the job, or within the context of dating, marriage and family. Often, their normal role expectations require that they perform feminized and hypermasculine roles simultaneously. This book focuses on how African American males experience masculinity politics, and how U.S. sexism and racial ranking influences relationships between black and white males, as well as relationships with black and white women. By considering the African American male experience as a form of sexism, Lemelle proposes that the only way for the social order to successfully accommodate African American males is to fundamentally eliminate all sexism, particularly as it relates to the organization of families.
"A tour de force interrogation of hegemonic masculinity, hegemonic patriarchy as related to the historical and contemporary development and maintenance of Black masculinity that challenges individualistic interpretations or substantial dutiful theory employed by many writing in the subject area of masculinities and forces us to connect the dots between Black masculinity and U.S. sexual politics. This book is full of brilliant, fresh ideas and well-developed arguments; it is provocative, innovative and insightful and although it will make some readers uncomfortable, as it should, no one interested in racial/ethnic, gender and sexual inequalities should fail to read this work."
- BarBara M. Scott, Professor of Sociology, African & African American Studies, and Women's Studies at Northeastern Illinois University
"This reading would be useful for courses on masculinity or gender studies, where students have room to engage in part of the conversation he recommends. It is also relevant for sociologists and psychologists who have an interest in studying and/or treating Black men, as it provides a meaningful look at diverse aspects of the Black male experience in America."
-Candice Crowell, Howard University, in Sex Roles, vol 65
Anthony J. Lemelle, Jr. is Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at John Jay College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the author of Black Male Deviance (Praeger, 1997), co-editor of Readings in the Sociology of AIDS (Prentice Hall, 1999), and Free at Last?: Black America in the 21st Century (Transaction, 2006).
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