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Boyhood to Manhood

Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum


C. Spencer Platt, Darryl B. Holloman and Lemuel W. Watson

Boyhood to Manhood: Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum seeks to foster an open and honest discussion about the intersection of multiple identities found among Black males. The book explores topics such as what it means to be a Black male; race and ethnicity; health; [dis]ability; athletics; socioeconomic status; historical accounts; employment; religion and sexual identity. Many Black men share the experience of being members of cultures that are guided by strict gendered norms. These norms often require men to conform to «masculine» behaviors, which may increase their levels of risk-taking behavior, anxiety and fear of being ostracized should they fail to display the appropriate «male» skill sets. The ability to explore and embrace other possibilities for the ways that men can construct their personal and professional realities helps to enhance and broaden the ways in which men live their lives and seek opportunities. The qualitative, quantitative and historical data presented in this book provide new understandings of the experiences, roles and perspectives of Black men.
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Chapter Two: Am I Not a Man and a Brother? I Am a Man




“Am I not a man and a brother?” and “I am a man” are slogans from different time periods in U.S. history that serve as examples of the contested terrain and questioning of Black manhood and masculinity. The first, “Am I not a man and a brother?” was the official seal of the British Society for the Abolition of Slavery in the late 1700s. This seal portrayed an enslaved African male in chains. He was kneeling in a submissive position, and it looked as if he were pleading to someone concerning his freedom. ← 21 | 22 →

“Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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