Scripting the Black Masculine Body: Identity, Discourse, and Racial Politics in Popular Media

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SUNY Press, Jan 1, 2006 - Social Science - 189 pages
Scripting the Black Masculine Body traces the origins of Black body politics in the United States and its contemporary manifestations in popular cultural productions. From early blackface cinema through contemporary portrayals of the Black body in hip-hop music and film, Ronald L. Jackson II examines how African American identities have been socially constructed, constituted, and publicly understood, and argues that popular music artists and film producers often are complicit with Black body stereotypes. Jackson offers a communicative perspective on body politics through a blend of social scientific and humanities approaches and offers possibilities for the liberation of the Black body from its current ineffectual and paralyzing representations.

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Contents

Race and Corporeal Politics
1
1 Origins of Black Body Politics
9
Exploring Process
49
3 Black Masculine Scripts
73
Exploring the Hypertext of Black Sexuality in HipHop Music and Pimp Movies
103
5Toward an Integrated Theoryof Black Masculinity
127
The RevolutionWill Not Be Televised
143
Notes
153
References
157
Index
171
Copyright

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Page 150 - The subject is not determined by the rules through which it is generated because signification is not a founding act, but rather a regulated process of repetition that both conceals itself and enforces its rules precisely through the production of substantiali2ing effects.
Page 34 - Of the blood that feeds my heart, one drop in eight is black— bright red as the rest may be, that one drop poisons all the flood; those seven bright drops give me love like yours— hope like yours— ambition like yours— life hung with passions like dew-drops on the morning flowers...
Page 1 - representation' of the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence...
Page 27 - There were the pure coon and two variants of his type: the pickaninny and the uncle remus. The pickaninny was the first of the coon types to make its screen debut. It gave the Negro child actor his place in the black pantheon. Generally, he was a harmless, little screwball creation whose eyes popped, whose hair stood on end with the least excitement, and whose antics were pleasant and diverting.
Page 76 - ... of feminine narcissism, constructs a mirror image of what the male subject wants-to-see. The fetishistic logic of mimetic representation, which makes present for the subject what is absent in the real, can thus be characterized in terms of a masculine fantasy of mastery and control over the 'objects' depicted and represented in the visual field, the fantasy of an omnipotent eye/I who sees but who is never seen. In Mapplethorpe's case, however, the fact that both subject and object of the gaze...
Page 24 - Reddick were:1 1 . The savage African 2. The happy slave 3. The devoted servant 4. The corrupt politician 5. The irresponsible citizen 6. The petty thief 7. The social delinquent 8. The vicious criminal 9. The sexual superman 10. The superior athlete 1 1 . The unhappy non-white 12.
Page 120 - sex' which is not 'one'. Within a language pervasively masculinist, a phallogocentric language, women constitute the unrepresentable. In other words, women represent the sex that cannot be thought, a linguistic absence and opacity. Within a language that rests on univocal signification, the female sex constitutes the unconstrainable and undesignatable. In this sense, women are the sex which is not 'one', but multiple.
Page 9 - How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem?
Page 150 - In a sense, all signification takes place within the orbit of the compulsion to repeat; "agency," then, is to be located within the possibility of a variation on that repetition. If the rules governing signification not only restrict, but enable the assertion of alternative domains of cultural intelligibility, ie, new possibilities for gender that contest the rigid codes of hierarchical binarisms, then it is only within the practices of repetitive signifying that a subversion of identity becomes...

About the author (2006)

Ronald L. Jackson II is Professor of Media and Cinema Studies, as well as Professor and Head of African American Studies, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the editor of African American Communication and Identities: Essential Readings.