What Is Masculinity In African American Youth

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How can African American youth, yearning to find their true selves, do so under popular culture’s influence, conflicting religious beliefs and a fluctuating gender experience? Initially, further exploration and research into the unique gender and racial experiences of African American youth is necessary. This research is best conducted through surveys, questionnaires and face to face interviews. According to Denise Isom, after interviewing 5th, 6th and 7th grade African American children, she revealed their identity crisis: “They spoke of a deeply racialized reality, a gendered social world, and operated from a sense of self that was multifaceted and shifting” (Isom, 2012, p. 127-137). The research further demonstrated that this age group has a high level of confusion requiring the use of different “faces” around other people.…show more content…
According to Isom, her first study showed the student’s unique ways of expressing gender fluidity amongst African American youth. They also mentioned the racism and sexism they had endured throughout their lives. During the study, the youth discussed their interpretations of what it meant to them to be feminine or masculine and African American. They proved their masculinity through achievements and loving relationships. Feminine fierceness was derived from their abilities and strength to take on different roles, though still well aware of their sexualization in the eyes of men, “Femaleness emerged as strong, multitudinous, and varied, yet sexualized by a male gaze and silent in the face of it” (Denise Isom, 2012, p.127-137 In attempts to overcome racism, the children developed multifaceted identities after many unpleasant and damaging racial

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