Media and Visual Culture Interpreted the Notion of Black Masculinity

774 Words Jan 26th, 2018 3 Pages
Through media and visual culture, an operational interpretation of black masculinity was coined. From the emergence of the original gangster (OG), to the successful, intellectual middle class black male-Cliff Huxtable as evidenced by a fictional character in the Cosby show. As more black celebrities advance in their career, more specifically comedians, they further define and challenge the image of black masculinity. When it comes to masculinity, there is a standard ideation of what the ideal male should be - a wealthy, heterosexual male. However, complicating this stigma with race makes this issue more pressing. What is black masculinity and how is its image evolving through the use of comedy? Before answering that question, we must first look at how masculinity and black masculinity is portrayed in comedy.
Robert Hanke, a professor of sociology at the University of Ryerson, in his article “The mock-macho” situation comedy: hegemonic masculinity and its reiteration”, addresses the topic of masculinity in comedy by examining how comedy works to reiterate hemogenic masculinity by looking at what he terms two “mock-macho sitcoms” -Home Improvement and Coach. Hanke argues the role of comedy as a strategy to reconstruct manhood from that of just physical actions but emotional as well. He supports this claim by examining at the central male character -Tim Allen, as a recombinant image of manhood, combing middle…
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