“Black Manhood and The Best Man Holiday” by T. Hasan Johnson, Ph.D.

***Spoilers All Throughout!***
I will admit that I am happy to see a spate of Black films that provide a more pronounced display of progressiveness for Black men. It’s refreshing. I recognize that much of it has to do with how President Obama’s demeanor and measured confidence has fascinated a country that didn’t think that Black men possessed such capacity. Interest in Obama raises class and media-influenced  issues around what is “real” Black masculinity (Byron Hurt deals with this brilliantly in the video below): Continue Reading!

“Progressive Black Masculinity and Solomon Northup” by T. Hasan Johnson, Ph.D.

***Warning: Spoilers Ahead***

Scholar Athena Mutua wrote a book entitled Progressive Black Masculinities in 2006. The “new” in the title, and in this blog, might be a bit misleading. The new refers to its contrast with previously heralded masculinities, yet it does not mean that there haven’t been progressive men in the past. Mostly, the shift in our preference for a less domineering style of masculinity has been in response to advances in technologies and activism. In other words, capitalist-inspired technology freed people from adhering to stifling gender roles and allowed for a more flexible approach to labor, health, life expectancy, and mobility (albeit a capitalism tempered heavily by the massive activist movements to free women, people of color, the elderly, and the differently abled–and one day the poor). Such new allowances have led us slowly away from our evolutionarily-bred need to rely on dominant males to provide. Now, anyone can earn a wage that can support a family rather than relying on a male that can hunt game and protect family from predators. In this fashion, Solomon Northup represents a tradition of progressive Black men who’ve always existed… Those Black men who provide materially as well emotionally. Continue Reading!