Show Less

The Boys Club

Male Protagonists in Contemporary African American Young Adult Literature

Series:

Wendy Rountree

The Boys Club: Male Protagonists in Contemporary African American Young Adult Literature is a study of prominent issues and themes such as education, identity, and racism in contemporary (i.e., post-Civil Rights era) young adult novels written primarily for African American boys by African American men and women writers. Representative works by writers Candy Dawson Boyd, Curtis Paul Curtis, Sharon G. Flake, Kenji Jasper, Kekla Magoon, Williams McDaniels, Walter Dean Meyers, and Jacqueline Woodson are analyzed. Ultimately, this book illustrates how men and women writers of young adult literature for African American boys reveal and validate the difficulties of growing up young, Black, and male in modern-day American society, and thereby seek to improve the lives of their readers.

Prices

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 5 Depicting Romantic Relationships in Walter Dean Myers’ Motown and Didi and Jacqueline Woodson’s If You Come Softly 79

Extract

5 Depicting Romantic Relationships in Walter Dean Myers’ Motown and Didi and Jacqueline Woodson’s If You Come Softly Relationships are difficult, and anyone who has been in one—whether par- ent-child, sibling-sibling, friends, lovers—knows it to be true. They take work, patience, and compassion. Interpersonal relationships challenge the preconceptions of a young person’s individual identity and relationship iden- tity. They can push a young person to take actions that he/she would other- wise never even image. “Movement into romantic relationships involves more than developing a level of comfort while communicating with the op- posite gender. It also requires a full compliment of relationship skills, most of them communication based as well. Adolescents must become familiar with the process of making initial overtures, learn how to communicate their needs to partners, manage conflict, and successfully terminate unwanted rela- tionship” (Giordano, Longmore, and Manning 265). So, how do African American boys, who often have absent fathers and who face societal pres- sures, learn how to create loving intimate relationships? “The historical and ongoing oppression experienced by African Americans has had a tremendous effect on […] intergender relations” (Lawrence-Webb, Littlefield, and Okundaye 628). Walter Dean Myer in Motown and Didi (1984) and Jacque- line Woodson in If You Come Softly (1998) deal with establishing and main- taining romantic relationships. 80 | The Boys Club: Male Protagonists in Contemporary African American In Myers’ work, the protagonist Motown struggles to communicate and establish a loving relationship with Didi, a young lady who lives in his urban...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.