Dismantling Black Manhood: An Historical and Literary Analysis of the Legacy of Slavery

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $138.68
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 12%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $138.68   
  • New (3) from $138.68   
  • Used (2) from $148.13   


This book examines the social, economic, and cultural factors that have produced the current crisis in African American masculinity, tracing the development of concepts of manhood from pre-colonial West Africa through the Emancipation Proclamation in America. The study begins with an exploration of the cultural context of manhood and the social development of boys into men in West Africa which was based on the rites of passage and the mastery of such social skills as hunting and farming. Enslavement annihilated this unambiguous social status. Denied the possibility of fulfilling the necessary social roles of warrior, husband, father, and protector, African men were forced to redefine manhood, without the benefit of communal discussions. Hence, manhood to many enslaved African American men became an increasingly ambiguous and elusive concept, coupled with problematic notions of sexual performance, absolute patriarchal domination of the household, and the devaluation of commitments that impinge upon a man's independence. Narratives written between 1794 and 1863 reveal that by the end of slavery the concept had become a source of major conflict for African American men. This unique study focuses on the deterioration of the black male concept of manhood in 19th-century America and explores the dilemma of what it means to be black and male in America.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Drawing on documents between 1794 and 1863, shows how the forms and symbols of manhood in pre-colonial West Africa were destroyed by slavery, and how male slaves strove to redefine what it meant to be an adult male in the absence of the communal discussion. Captivity is shown to have erased not only the rites of manhood the functions and activities by which men fulfilled the social roles as warrior, husband, father, and protector. The reconstructed notions included such aspects as sexual performance, absolute patriarchal domination of the household, and the devaluation of and commitments that impinge on independence. They seemed to be largely in place by the time slavery ended, and African-American men carried them into their new status. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
The Concept of Manhood in Pre-Colonial West Africa 11
The Impact of the Long March and the Middle Passage on the West African Concept of Manhood 43
Plantation Existence and the West African Concept of Manhood 63
The Concept of Manhood and the Enslaved African American Male 99
The Concept of Manhood and the Free Black Male of the 19th Century 137
Recommendations for Further Study 175
Bibliography 183
Index 189
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)