Men's Studies Association: 17th Annual Meeting

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August 4, 2005 – Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

Our "Living Black Manhood": Malcolm X and Black Feminism: From Clarity to Accountability

Ewuare Osayande, Co-founder, P.O.W.E.R., Facilitator, ONUS, Philadelphia, PA

ABSTRACT - When the renowned actor Ossie Davis, a man respected for his choice of words, eulogized Malcolm X in 1965, he called him, "our Black manhood, our living Black manhood." In this presentation, I will seek to honor those words by offering Malcolm's legacy as a living example for us Black men as it relates to his ever-growing understanding of male domination in the context of imperialism and racial violence.

This presentation will look at the development of Malcolm's view of women as expressed by himself in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Malcolm's development will be charted across four distinct periods of his life: Malcolm Little, Detroit Red, Malcolm X, El Hajj Malik Shabazz.

Black male leaders during the burgeoning Black Power movement would embrace Malcolm's legacy and create an image of Malcolm that bolstered their male dominant ideologies in a way that didn't honor Malcolm's honest development on the issue of gender at the end of his life. The reluctance and outright refusal on the part of various Black men during the Black Power era to address that aspect of Malcolm's development has created an incomplete image of "Black manhood" that continues to resist the constructive insights of Black feminists engaged in Black liberation struggle. Particular attention will be paid to the work of Angela Davis, bell hooks and Joy James.

 

How Black Males Experience Schooling

Kirk Moss, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT - In this presentation I want to look at how black males see themselves as learners and the various areas in our society that influences their sense of self, and how this idea clashes in many ways with the notion of schooling.  Even though schools are masculine institutions, the raced nature of masculinity does not allow black males to succeed and achieve. I will also examine the manner in which schools imagine and treat black males. Thus, even though research shows that black males come to schools with high aspirations, it is the way in which they are schooled, racialized, criminalized that leads to them developing resistance strategies, rebellious attitudes and anti-school practices.  Even though some of these students internalize stereotypical ideas of who they are becoming educators have a responsibility to challenge these
misconceptions.

I argue that this reality must be challenged in order for these students to experiences schooling that nurtures their dreams and not stifle them.  I locate this discussion in Toronto, and draw on wider research from Pedro Noguera, Michael Kimmel, R.W. Connell, Carl James, Chris Spence, Tony Sewell, L. Janelle Dance and Majors and Billson to strengthen my analysis.

 

Reforming Masculinites: (RE)Creating Democracy

Sarah Hautzinger, Ph.D, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

ABSTRACT - This paper explores the parallels between criminalizing male-to-female family violence and recreating democracy in Brazil. In both cases, a totalitarian system is declared abusive and illegitimate, and programs are
established that set about reforming and humanizing. The study, still in its incipient stages, investigates the question through men's groups devised to intervene in domestic violence, such as magistrate-ordered batterer's groups, anger management groups, and man-to-man mentoring
programs. Groups involved in Latin American partners in the international White Ribbon Campaign, in Brazil and potentially other countries in the future, comprise the "field sites" for the research. What messages about "citizenship" - in the family as well as the nation-state - are disseminated in such settings? Do models for masculinity, and gender more broadly, reflect Brazilian cultural, social and historical particularities, or are they unproblematically imported from foreign settings?  I argue that the more specifically tailored such programs canbe t o the Brazilian context, the more efficacious they are, both in terms of preventing battering and building democratic citizenry.

 

Lessons from Life History: Understanding the Factors that Transform Violent People and Culture

Mark Thomas, MA, 5 Keys Charter School, San Francisco Sheriff's Department, San Francisco, CA

ABSTRACT - The information presented will be derived from Michael Marcum's telling of his own story,  my telling my own story, and my understanding of the history and culture of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department (SFSD)—a department  that has a unique culture within American criminal justice system that allows for many rehabilitative programs geared towards stopping violence and changing
violent lives (this based on interviews and information gathered from those in the department and personal experience working with the department). However, the culture of SFSD was not always like that. It wasn't until Sheriff Michael Hennesy and Michael Marcum among many others helped  institute a change in the department. What factors led to or created this change? This is what I will
discuss and examine. How culture and individuals can be or have been changed on a smaller scale will also be noted. The major question is whether the culture of a whole nation or civilization can be changed before it self-destructs.