What is the role of manhood and masculinity in the lives of African American males in college? How do manhood norms influence decisions within and beyond college? How might mothers and fathers differentially affect manhood and masculinity in their sons? What are African American’s men unique ways of knowing themselves and their surroundings? The Brother Code: Manhood and Masculinity among African American Men in College situates itself at the intersection of higher education and cultural studies to address these questions and more. Primarily, this book offers colleges and universities a penetrative gaze into a complex web of identities-the manhood of African American males in college. Yet the book also seizes a rare opportunity in higher education research to review six historical eras of African American manhood as well as the troublesome relationship between African American males and education in general. This knowledge is important for understanding all aspects of African American male participation in college, including enrollment, retention, curricular, and co-curricular involvement. Based on an empirical study, the data in this book emerged from one-on-one interviews in which 24 African American males enrolled in 12 colleges discussed how manhood matters in their social and college lives. The aim is to help unearth the marginalized topics of manhood, gender, and masculinity in males generally but more specifically among African American males, a marginalized student group in education. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the book draws upon literature in history, African American studies, gender studies, sociology, cultural studies, psychology, and anthropology.
The first book to reveal the depths of black men’s buried mental and emotional pain, Standing in the Shadows weaves the author’s story of his twenty-five-year struggle with depression with a cultural analysis of how the illness is perceived in the black community—and why nobody wants to talk about it.In mainstream society depression and mental illness are still somewhat taboo subjects; in the black community they are topics that are almost completely shrouded in secrecy. As a result, millions of black men are suffering in silence or getting treatment only in the most extreme circumstances—in emergency rooms, homeless shelters, and prisons. The neglect of emotional disorders among men in the black community is nothing less than racial suicide. John Head’s explosive work, Standing in the Shadows, addresses what can be done to help those who need it most.In this groundbreaking book, veteran journalist and award-winning author John Head argues that the problem can be traced back to slavery, when it was believed that blacks were unable to feel inner pain because they had no psyche. This myth has damaged generations of African American men and their families and has created a society that blames black men for being violent and aggressive without considering that depression might be a root cause. The author also explores the roles of the black church, the black family, and the changing nature of black women in American culture as a way to understand how the black community may have unwittingly helped push the emotional disorders of African American men further underground. As daring and powerful as Nathan McCall’s Makes Me Wanna Holler,Standing in the Shadows challenges both the African American community and the psychiatric community to end the silent suffering of black men by taking responsibility for a problem that’s been ignored for far too long. Additionally, Standing in the Shadows gives women an understanding of depression that enables them to help black men mend their relationships, their families, and themselves.