Introduces the conceptual foundations for Black Male Studies, going beyond gender theories that cast the Black Male as a pathological aspiring patriarch
Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood
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Tommy J. Curry
Tommy J. Curry's provocative book The Man-Not is a justification for Black Male Studies. He posits that we should conceptualize the Black male as a victim, oppressed by his sex. The Man-Not, therefore, is a corrective of sorts, offering a concept of Black males that could challenge the existing accounts of Black men and boys desiring the power of white men who oppress them that has been proliferated throughout academic research across disciplines.
Curry argues that Black men struggle with death and suicide, as well as abuse and rape, and their genred existence deserves study and theorization. This book offers intellectual, historical, sociological, and psychological evidence that the analysis of patriarchy offered by mainstream feminism (including Black feminism) does not yet fully understand the role that homoeroticism, sexual violence, and vulnerability play in the deaths and lives of Black males. Curry challenges how we think of and perceive the conditions that actually affect all Black males.
"In a bold—indeed, fearless—intervention in the ongoing race/gender/sexual orientation debates, Tommy Curry challenges the cozy consensus among self-conceived progressives in the humanities. The oppression of black men has been conceptually erased, he argues, by theoretical frameworks indifferent to the social science data that refute them. Sure to ignite a firestorm of controversy, The Man-Not is an impassioned protest against orthodoxies, both mainstream and radical, white and black. It is required reading for anyone interested in understanding oppression or having unquestioned assumptions put to the test."
"[The Man-Not] contains so many studies in detail, that [it] first might appear to be an anthology of research done over the years: from race in 19th century ethnology, through black writers' experience of the effects of the prison-industrial complex, to white women raping black men under slavery, and supporting their lynching in a later period of history.... [S]lowly I started to understand that these were not case studies, and the book is no anthology. It is systematical and methodical to the core, forming theory from actual issues in the lives of black men and boys."
"Curry's style of writing and the occasional boldness of his assertions make the book well worth reading. The overall aims of the book are highlighted through mapping the vulnerability which makes the genre theory of Man-Not(ness) a useful framework for further theorizations that consider the presence of the Black male corpse and sexual vulnerability in conceptualizations of Black maleness. Curry's revising of Black masculinity highlights the need to theorize Black masculinity without using white masculinity as a benchmark."
"The release of Tommy J. Curry's new text, The Man-No t, is both monumental and groundbreaking. This text inaugurates a new field of study-namely, Black Male Studies, and Dr. Curry lays the foundation well by establishing a multi-layered, nuanced approach that encompasses new approaches to conceptualizing gender, develops new gender theory, re-evaluates sexuality, and creatively applies class-analysis in an effort to consider Black men on wholly new grounds. Curry accomplishes this difficult task with seeming ease."
"The Man-Not is an important work that is essential in the day and age of disposable blog entries that ride on incorrect tropes about Black men. This is factual work backed up by data that can be proven, and that is what is missing in conversations about race. The Man-Not is a very dense book. There is a lot to digest here, but a book about racism and white supremacy should not be a quick read. This is a triumph in Black studies and about how the African-American man and boy is written. I felt pride and satisfaction reading this book. A Black man writing a book to humanize Black men and boys: it couldn't have come at a better time for me and everyone else."
Introduction • Toward a Genre Study of Black Male Death and Dying: Addressing the Caricatures that Serve as Theory in the Study of Black Males
Tommy J. Curry is a Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies at Texas A&M University, where he holds the prestigious Ray A. Rothrock Fellowship (2013–2016). He serves as Executive Director of Philosophy Born of Struggle and is the recipient of the USC Shoah Foundation 2016–2017 A.I. and Manet Schepps Foundation Teaching Fellowship. He is the author of The Philosophical Treatise of William H. Ferris: Selected Readings from The African Abroad or, His Evolution in Western Civilization.