Who are the "race men" standing for black America? It is a question Hazel Carby rejects, along with its long-standing assumption: that a particular type of black male can represent the race. A searing critique of definitions of black masculinity at work in American culture, Race Men shows how these defining images play out socially, culturally, and politically for black and white society--and how they exclude women altogether. Carby begins by looking at images of black masculinity in the work of W. E. B. Du Bois. Her analysis of The Souls of Black Folk reveals the narrow and rigid code of masculinity that Du Bois applied to racial achievement and advancement--a code that remains implicitly but firmly in place today in the work of celebrated African American male intellectuals. The career of Paul Robeson, the music of Huddie Ledbetter, and the writings of C. L. R. James on cricket and on the Haitian revolutionary, Toussaint L'Ouverture, offer further evidence of the social and political uses of representations of black masculinity. In the music of Miles Davis and the novels of Samuel R. Delany, Carby finds two separate but related challenges to conventions of black masculinity. Examining Hollywood films, she traces through the career of Danny Glover the development of a cultural narrative that promises to resolve racial contradictions by pairing black and white men--still leaving women out of the picture. A powerful statement by a major voice among black feminists, Race Men holds out the hope that by understanding how society has relied upon affirmations of masculinity to resolve social and political crises, we can learn to transcend them.
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In six compelling essays, Carby (African American studies and American studies, Yale Univ.), known for her landmark literary text Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman ... Read full review
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aesthetic African American Ēgure Ēlm American anxiety argue Ērst artist attempt become Black Folk black male body Bois’s called chapter claim collective Coltrane complex created cricket critical cultural Davis Davis’s Delany described desire effect embody establish example existence experience feel female follows force freedom future gendered Glover hands ideal imagined important individual intellectual interesting James James’s jazz John Leadbelly leader Light lives Lomax Mack manhood masculinity material meanings Miles modernist Muray narrative nature Negro notes opening particular Paul Robeson performance person photographs play political possible present Press produced race racial recordings relation relationship represented response reveal revolutionary role scene sexual social songs Souls of Black spirituals story structure struggle thought tion University voice W. E. B. Du Bois Weapon West women writing York young
Page 16 - Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house? The shades of the prison-house...
Page 14 - American pragmatism is less a philosophical tradition putting forward solutions to perennial problems in the Western philosophical conversation initiated by Plato and more a continuous cultural commentary or set of interpretations that attempt to explain America to itself at a particular historical moment.