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When We Imagine Grace : Black Men and Subject Making - by Simone C. Drake (Hardcover)

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Plutarch, the famed Greek biographer, wrote The Lives of the Roman Emperors early in his career. Simone Drake could have called her book The Lives of Black Men.” She contrasts the portrayal of black men in mainstream media with the way she insists black men must imagine their lives, ambitions, and desires in both the civic arena and the domestic arena. The narrow popular representation of black men as being in perennial crisis” is one she rejects, opting instead to see them as active agents of their own destinies. Her book uncovers the ways in which black men in history, literature, film, political arenas, and popular culture have either challenged or been challenged by pathological constructions of black masculinity. Imagining Grace” refers to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a black feminist framework Drake uses to see power in vulnerability and emotivenessfrom Tom Joyner’s radio show to Richard Pryor’s comedy to some of President Obama’s social policy. Drake is synthesizing black feminist and black masculinity studies. Her black lives feature the African American cowboy, Nat Love, also Drake’s own grandfather, who imagined grace” through military service in the first colored military unit to fight in World War II (what emerges is a narrative of black pride and shame), and thence to movies, where Drake explores the theme of black fathers and daughters (framed by a court case involving The Cosby Show as intellectual property). The chapter that follows, on twisted criminalities, contrasts the valorization of black criminals (thugs) as heroes with the denigration of gay black men, where we encounter the limits of grace in American Gangster, Cornelius Edy’s poetry, and the viral video of Antoine Dodson (discussing the attempted ****** of his sister). In concluding with Berry Gordy and hi-hop (Jay-Z), Drake meditates on black entrepreneurship as a nationalist site of redemption. We are given in this book a way of seeing and knowing black malenesssophisticated in concept but bracingly vivid in the telling.
Number of Pages: 250
Genre: Social Science, Literary Criticism
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Simone C. Drake
Language: English
Street Date: August 8, 2016
TCIN: 52417432
UPC: 9780226363837
Item Number (DPCI): 248-45-4218
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