Black Masculinity Analysis

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Patriarchy and Race within the Masculinity of the Black Male

In Chapter 4 of the book, We Real Cool, bell hooks discusses how books and articles always convey the message that Black men are out of control, wild, uncivilized, and violent. She continues on to express the notion that due to being labeled as beasts that lack emotions by Whites, Black men internalize and claim it as a mark of distinction, as the edge that they have over White males. After reading this chapter, I noticed that she is exactly right and in today’s society all those traits of how Black men are violent, emotionless, and controlling are combined into one word: “hypermasculine”. Hypermasculine has no concrete definition; it is an idea that connotes an individual as
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The distinction between the two is a subtle and complicated one. What I mean by this, is that there is hardly any room to critically think and examine masculinity in the language outside of a patriarchy. A lot of Black individuals view hypermasculine as a code word to attack Black men’s masculinity. This term has been used so much by the White community, that the Black community adopted this term and also uses it to describe Black men. As stated before, this term has no set definition. For instance, this term is often applied to black male rappers. When applied to them, I think of their demeanor and their lyrics as promoting violence, being domineering, and being sexually explicit. However, hypermasculine in this context cannot describe a Black male who has some other profession such as a teacher or construction worker, yet these Black men are still labeled as hypermasculine as well. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that the standard for masculinity is based off middle-class, White men. Nonetheless, even when White men display exaggerated forms of male characteristics, they are seldom referred to as hypermasculine, but if a Black male display the exact same behavior, it is as if the country clutches its pearls and is in fear of the “hypermasculine” Black…show more content…
It is engrained in every male through patriarchal socialization that men are responsible if you are able to obtain a job, bring money home, and make sure your family remains comfortable. This is easier said than done for Black males. White males are more readily available to obtain these goals because they are granted with the opportunities. Conversely, due to poverty and a lack of job opportunities have presented Black males are prevented from gaining this sense of responsibility. Owing to the fact that, they cannot fulfill this role, they spend their lives feeling inadequate, and their manhood has yet to be affirmed. So yes, White America, is not forcing the Black male to act a certain way explicitly, but it has shaped what one must have in order to be a man. It also has disable the limited number of Black men who want to rebel against the systematic structure and reinvent the criteria in which one much have in be a man, to be responsible, and what it takes to invent one’s life. It has disabled them because Black males are unable to think creatively due to White America only providing narrow life scripts shaped my patriarchal thinking. Therefore, Black men are ingrained with this notion that they have to portray themselves as hypermasculine in order to be respected by everyone despite the
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