“I tell Black male’s hidden stories, and separate them from the stories others impose on them.” – Dr. T. Hasan Johnson
Dr. T. Hasan Johnson of CSU Fresno’s Africana Studies Program created the concept of Black Masculinism to highlight the need and value of progressive Black Masculinities in the Black community. Although they are all around, many overlook progressive Black men and focus only on problematic expressions of Black masculinity.
In response, Dr. Johnson created the notion of Black Masculinism: An approach to reflecting on, evaluating, and examining a progressive form of Black masculinity that acknowledges Black male life experiences as both “raced” and “gendered” in Western societies. Black male life experiences are therefore distinct, and often illustrate the complex relationship between Black males, social expectation, and oppression. It posits that Black male issues are often overlooked and “de-gendered,” while ignoring Black males who have demonstrated the capacity of Black men to move passed stereotypes and be strong, critical, outspoken, thoughtful, loving, and supportive of practices that improve the quality of life in the Black community.
As a research tool, Black Masculinism [BM]: doesn’t presuppose or assume men’s innocence (or benevolent humanity) in any given situation, but does seek to outline and highlight men’s experiential narratives, ultimately highlighting men’s humanity–whether inspirational or problematic.
This site is a mixture of reflections, current events, popular culture observations, and meditations on progressive Black masculinities. Also, every spring, students in my Fresno State course AFRS 130T: The Black Male Experience post their Black Elder Projects, exhibiting a wide variety of examples of the myriad ways that Black men exemplify progressive masculinities that often go unrecognized in relation to their representations in popular media. This site was created in order to help people imagine Black masculinities in a less restrictive, more humane fashion.