• View author and book videos on our YouTube channel.

  • Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideality in African American Men’s Literature and Culture, 1775–1995

    Author(s):
    Pages: 256
    Illustrations: 17 b&w photos
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
    Series: a John Hope Franklin Center Book
  • Cloth: $89.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-2854-4
  • Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-2869-8
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • List of Illustrations

    Acknowledgments


    Introduction

    Part One: Spectagraphia

    1. On Dangers Seen and Unseen: Identity Politics and the Burden of Black Male Specularity

    Part Two: No Hiding Place

    2. “Are We Men?”: Prince Hall, Martin Delany, and the Black Masculine Ideal in Black Freemasonry, 1775-1865

    3. Constructing the Black Masculine: Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and the Sublimits of African American Autobiography

    4. A Man’s Place: Architecture, Identity, and Black Masculine Being

    Part Three: Looking B(l)ack

    5. “I’m Not Entirely What I Look Like”: Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and the Hegemony of Vision; or Jimmy’s FBEye Blues

    6. What Juba Knew: Dance and Desire in Melvin Dixon’s Vanishing Room


    Afterword: “What Ails you Polyphemus?”: Toward a New Ontology of Vision in Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks

    Notes

    Bibliography

    Index
  • Winner, MLA William Sanders Scarborough Prize

    Awards

  • Winner, MLA William Sanders Scarborough Prize

  • “A most impressive interrogation into the problematic of black masculine identity as it has manifested in the U.S. context from the late eighteenth century through the present day. Readers from across a range of disciplines will be uniformly impressed by the scope and dexterity of Wallace’s critical intelligence. This is an overwhelmingly admirable achievement and a very important book.”—Phillip Brian Harper, author of Are We Not Men? Masculine Anxiety and the Problem of African-American Identity — N/A

    “Highly original and deeply probing in its analyses into the intricacies of its topic, Constructing the Black Masculine is a timely and rewarding addition to the study of African American literature, American studies, and race and sexuality. Maurice O. Wallace has a lot to teach.”—Nellie McKay, coeditor of The Norton Anthology of African American Literature — N/A

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    In seven representative episodes of black masculine literary and cultural history—from the founding of the first African American Masonic lodge in 1775 to the 1990s choreographies of modern dance genius Bill T. Jones—Constructing the Black Masculine maps black men’s historical efforts to negotiate the frequently discordant relationship between blackness and maleness in the cultural logic of American identity. Maurice O. Wallace draws on an impressive variety of material to investigate the survivalist strategies employed by black men who have had to endure the disjunction between race and masculinity in American culture.
    Highlighting their chronic objectification under the gaze of white eyes, Wallace argues that black men suffer a social and representational crisis in being at once seen and unseen, fetish and phantasm, spectacle and shadow in the American racial imagination. Invisible and disregarded on one hand, black men, perceived as potential threats to society, simultaneously face the reality of hypervisibility and perpetual surveillance. Paying significant attention to the sociotechnologies of vision and image production over two centuries, Wallace shows how African American men—as soldiers, Freemasons, and romantic heroes—have sought both to realize the ideal image of the American masculine subject and to deconstruct it in expressive mediums like modern dance, photography, and theatre. Throughout, he draws on the experiences and theories of such notable figures as Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and James Baldwin.

    About The Author(s)

    Maurice O. Wallace is Assistant Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Duke University.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu