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Maleness, masculinity, and manhood are three ever-evolving, interrelated subjects within the context of African American life. The rich and extensive African traditions that define and develop manhood exist in continued conflict with the devastating legacy of chattel enslavement and the ever-changing cultural norms of contemporary American society. The diaspora experience of African men and women during the Maafa (the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans) challenged and changed perceptions of the manhood and masculinity of Black men for generations. Chaining, whipping, and other forms of abuse; separating men from family members they could not then protect; the rape of enslaved African women by slaveholders; and suppression of Africans’ indigenous language and culture were aspects of chattel enslavement that have left lasting psychological and cultural ...

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