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Essay on Ethnic Studies in Racialized Masculinities: Genders and Sexualities in Communities of Color

3 pages
587 words
Harvey Mudd College
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The book Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation by Natalie Hopkinson and Natalie Moore is a controversial book written in a cheeky yet intellectual style. The writers of the book seek to probe the black male archetypes of the hip-hop generation. To achieve this, the writers use different essays to unveil the meanings buried in media and public perceptions of the hip-hop generation (Hopkinson & Moore, 2006). The writers offer their reflections on the hip-hop generations past, present, and future within the social-political context of the United States. Feminism is widely discussed by the writers in the book. I believe the main aim that the two writers decided to work on this was to address the ethnic disparities that exist in the racialized communities and more specifically the African-American race.

Hip-hop is used to describe culture, music, fashion, aesthetics, music, a generation, blackness itself and an ontological way of being. The culture is mostly associated with the African-American through the generation has spread to other races in the world. The hip-hop culture developed as a result of the continuation of the nineteenth century and early twentieth-century minstrel caricature commonly referred to as the buck. The buck was developed by the white Americans as a continuation of the slavery after it was. The whites argued that the slaves though free were not truly compatible with their societies, and thus they regarded them as an inferior race. Urbanized bucks were referred to by the white as coons. The Buck Coons introduced to rap and hip-hop as a social commentary to articulate the oppression. They felt that the society was unfair to them and thus had to express views on white supremacy, racism, elitism, and sexism through music and especially rap music.

The hip-hop culture currently, however, has evolved, and the objection of women in the culture is imminent. The books allow women to journal their experiences with black masculinity. Single mothers are raising black boys, women working in the hip-hop industry as trippers and video vixens in the hip-hop rap videos. The writers discuss the experienced of black women whom they feel have been forced by the industry to perform acts which previously were considered iniquitous in the society. The narration of Steffan a video vixen in some hip-hop videos draws a picture of the feminism in the hip-hop culture (Hopkinson & Moore, 2006). The narration presents a Sapphire as a socially aggressive woman whom by all means tries to manipulate her man. This is in contrast to a Mammy which described a woman who had one purpose for life which was to please their man through maintaining asexuality. On the contrary, a Sapphire will do all it takes to overcome the masculinity of mean, i.e., the dominance of a man in the society.

The vices in the society today according to Hopkins and Moore is as a result of the sexual and gender inequalities. There is an increase in the number of children born in out of wedlock. Single mothers number as increased over the decade. The entertainment industry has failed to respect the role of women in the society. To ensure that the women fight this feminism, the women have gone to extreme limit to prove wrong masculinity. The competition between the women and men has, in the long run, has led to the distortion of African American sexual and gender identities.


Hopkinson, N., & Moore, N. Y. (2006). Deconstructing Tyrone: A new look at Black masculinity in the hip-hop generation. Cleis Press.

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