“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:
“Black Masculinism centers Black males across age, class, and sexuality and seeks to frame the actual state of male life in measurable terms. Advocating for Black Male Studies, we endeavor to empirically contextualize the major pillars that indicate Black males’ quality of life: carceral treatment, criminal and civil sentencing, leading causes of death, health, employment, income, wealth status, education, violence, intimate partner violence/homicide, rape, housing & homelessness, types of labor, political approaches, wealth, family court impact (divorce and child custody), fatherhood, forms of protest, marriage, and the history of institutionally-based treatment are just beginning points of analysis. I call for Black Masculinism to highlight Black males’ lives beyond society’s assumptions, often rooted in stereotype and based on shorthand information, slanderous media representations, and even personal grudges.
The theories of analysis for Black Masculinism are anti-Black misandry, white supremacy, Black Gynocracy (Black female patriarchy), the dual economy, targeted socio-economic underdevelopment, outgroup male treatment & Social Dominance Theory, phallicism, John Henryism, institutional exclusion from wealth development, Black male history, and the strategic and historically-based use of controlling images in media to shape public perception. It is from these areas that we frame and interpret Black male life. Black Masculinism can be used multidisciplinarily to analyze film, art, dance, socio-economic status, literature, politics, social behavior (marriage, family, socialization), and many more across a wide variety of fields.”
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 139: 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.