Constructions of, and challenges to, black manhood have been central to American and African-American history. African-American men have typically understood their historic movements for liberation as struggles to realize or reclaim black manhood, and they have often viewed white racism and dominance as emasculating obstructions of their ability to act effectively as providers, husbands, and fathers. White Americans, meanwhile, have justified slavery and racism, and developed their approaches to race relations, through the images of black masculinity they have created. A struggle to define black masculinity is evident throughout African-American history and discourse.

Black Manhood under Slavery

Manhood under slavery was highly problematic, for enslavement denied African-American men a range of experiences that they and white Americans associated with manhood, including earning a living, providing for ...

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