"Representing Black Men" focuses on gender, race and representation in the literary and cultural work of black men. The book examines the ways in which black masculinities figure within African American and American cultures; the ways in which notions of masculine agency place themselves in constructions of race and gender; and the way in which formal and popular modes of expression create "gendered" and "racial" selves as sites of resistance. The contributors move beyond the demarcation line of the social sciences that have traditionally defined African American men as abscences, and explore the constructions of African American masculinities as presences in the arenas of theory, culture and literature. Drawing on current literary, feminist and cultural theory, they illustrate an alternate field for interrogating a variety of black male subjectivities.
By presenting works by both female and male literary and cultural theorists, "Representing Black Men" provides the first critical forum for contesting and explicating the ways in which African American men are represented in our culture. In addition to adding the voices of black men to current critical debates about American masculinities, the book takes on the conspicuous absences both in current discourse by and about black men, as well as creating an important site for critical and theoretical dialogues on gender and representation in American culture.
Contributors: Elizabeth Alexander, Michael Awkward, Stephen Best, Manthia Diawara, Donald B. Gibson, Cora Kaplan, Wahneema Lubiano, Robert Reid-Pharr, Kendall Thomas.