Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities
Dr. Mark Anthony Neal analyzes the ways in which black masculinity has been read and misread through popular culture. The most “legible” black male bodies are often rendered as criminal, as bodies in need of policing and containment. Ironically, Neal argues, this sort of legibility brings welcome relief to white America, providing easily identifiable images of black men in an era defined by shifts in racial, sexual, and gendered identities. He has examined figures such as Jay-Z, R. Kelly, Luther Vandross, and characters from the The Wire, among others. In conjunction with the exhibition Question Bridge: Black Males.
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