Black People : We Real Cool(Black men and masculinity)


Active Member
Sep 9, 2003
college student
Hi, just wondering if anyone has read this book by bell hooks and if so, what do you think of it?


Active Member
Sep 9, 2003
college student
NNQueen, i want to give you a really good in depth response of the book and right now i'm tired and don't feel like my response will be as good as i would like it to be at this time. It's kind of late where i am. i just got done with dishes and i feel like going to sleep. I will reply tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.



going above and beyond
Feb 9, 2001
Sister Lktpolit, there is no need to apologize for delaying your reply due to you being tired. It's quite understandable sister as we all must rest our weary bodies and spirits from time to time. I hope you find peace when you rest and wake up rejuvenated and filled with positive energy to face another day. We look forward to your response sister.

Queenie :spinstar:


Active Member
Sep 9, 2003
college student
"I hope you find peace when you rest and wake up rejuvenated and filled with positive energy to face another day. We look forward to your response sister."

Thanks a lot Queen

So far I’ve been reading it and skipping around a lot, but I haven’t read all of it. But you’re right it is interesting. In the part that I’ve read, Bell Hooks talks about how a lot of black boys go through a type of intitiation into manhood that is forced onto them by their peers and the rest of society. This initiation often includes them having sex with an older woman to prove their masculinity. She also states that black boys are often raped by older males and rarely do they talk about it due to the way in which black men have been stereotyped as hyper-masculine. To admit that they have been raped by another man would makethem feel emasculated. Both situations lead to emotional scarring. eventhough in the first case the boy thinks he is proving his manhood, he is still scarred in the process because he is a child and it’s basically statutory rape. He still feels abused and taken advantage of by an older woman. He is still a child, however, he is reaching “manhood” way too early. This is a good example of how sexism and racism BOTH affect black men and black women. If it wasn’t seen as more socially acceptable for a man to be loose than it is for a woman, black boys would not be experiencing this. If black men weren’t stereotyped as hyper-masculine by racist society, they wouldn’t feel the need to go through this “initiation.” If black men say they were victims of statutory rape at an early age, people take no notice because they are perceived to be an accomplance in the situation. In other words, people predict “He must have wanted it” being that he is both black and a male. This is much the same problem black women have reporting rape, but that's an enteirely different topic. Men period are seen as hyper-sexual and not being able to control their sexuality because of their high testosterone level. When you compound this with the fact that black men are stereotyped as even more sexual and more masculine than men of other races, you can see how this becomes a problem. All of this just goes to show that our issues as black women and black men are never COMPLETELY divorced from one another. Whatever affects one gender affects the other, only in a different way. this is why i beleive there are some things we need to work on togather and some issues that we need to take on separately. black women can't separate racism from sexism and neither can black men. It's a 50/50 problem.

She also notes that often, the stereotype of hyper-masculinity placed on black men often interferes with their ability to be successful because many believe that since they are at the top in the sexual arena that this constitutes success. Hypermasculinity is like a type of drug that gives you a false sense of security and allows you to forget the rest of your worries.

she also goes on to talk about the effects of hip hop on black mens masculinity and their perception of black women. for instance, she states that racist and sexist society makes many black men feel as if they have to be overly-aggressive, violent and disrespectful towards women in in order to prove their masculinity and to not feel emasculated. she clarifies that black men are no more sexist or exploitive of women than other men, however they tend to be more explicit about their exploitation of women(meaning they are more bold and come out with their sexist attitude or hatred toward women than white men) in order to prove their manhood. she states black men feel the need to constantly prove their manhood because they feel unloved by society and emasculated. this sense of being unloved is often due to beinf raped at a young age by both women and men and also due to being abandoned by their fathers and of course a lot of it has to do with being black in a racist society.

Bell Hooks stresses that until we figure out WHY men feel the need to take their anger out on women in the form of sexism, we will never end sexism.

I hope that gives anyone who is intersted in this book a pretty good overview of it, eventhough i admit, i have been skipping around a lot in it and haven't read much of it. But so far, this is what i read states.


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