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Boyhood to Manhood

Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum

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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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Foreword

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C. P. GAUSE

Scholars, researchers, and policymakers continue to inform our communities that children of color, particularly “Black males,” lag behind every other demographic in academic achievement and success. The current representation—or even construction, if you will allow—of Black males in popular culture and social media often conflicts with the prevailing notions that have traditionally surrounded the ideology of masculine power and identity, particularly as that identity is juxtaposed against the idea of White male masculinity.

The heavily policed and illuminated image of the black male is the object of adolescent intrigue, public sphere fascination, and global product placement and consumption via commodification. Many scholars and policymakers continue to limit the analyses of black masculinity to detached statistical data and reports devoid of the authentic (re) presentations of the voice and performance of black masculinities across multiple spheres. Dr. Spencer Platt, Dr. Darryl B. Holloman, and Dr. Lemuel W. Watson, however, as editors of this volume, From Boyhood to Manhood: Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum, bring together a fantastic team of authors and researchers who move from the realm of objectifying the black male and reifying false deficit statistical constructions to investigating and interrogating the multi-dimensional complexities of being a black man in America. I am quite impressed with this volume and applaud the authors for utilizing qualitative, mixed methods, quantitative, case studies and various ← ix | x → sampling methodologies and theoretical frameworks as tools to deconstruct black masculinity through...

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