Black masculinity in contemporary cinema

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dominick M. Hand (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Steven Cureton

Abstract: This research explored four movies spanning four separate eras. Content analysis was used to determine if themes emerged with respect to portrayals of Black Masculinity for a Slave era film (1619-1865), a Civil Rights era film (1954-1965), a Ghetto-centric era film (1980-1990), and a Post Racial Society era film (2009-2016). There were a total of 7 characters examined resulting in 123 frequency counts being recorded. The data reveal that Black film makers the likes of Nate Parker, Spike Lee, John Singleton, and Ryan Coogler produced films where Black masculinity was dominated by decency, and a revolutionary mindset. There is evidence that indicators for decency was more likely present in ghetto-centric and post racial society films than in slave and civil rights era films. Black masculinity was also portrayed as archetypal Toms, Bucks and Sambos. The implications of this research is that the European Gaze seems to infiltrate portrayals of Black Masculinity even when the film makers are Black Males. Moreover, Black Male film-makers counter negative stereotyping by contextualizing behavioral outcomes. The result being that race and demonstrations of manhood are both the result of social constructions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
African American studies, Black Masculinity, Criminology, Critical and Cultural Theory, Race and Gender
Men, Black, in motion pictures
Masculinity in motion pictures

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