by Richard Majors and Janet Mancini Billson
Black men learned long ago that the classic American virtues of thrift, preserverance, and hard work did not give them the same tangible rewards that accured to white men. Yet they have defined manhood in similar terms: breadwinner, provider, procreator, protector. Without the means to adequately fulfill these roles, many have become frustrated, impatient, angry, embittered, and alienated.
To combat these feelings of oppression, black males have adopted a "cool pose." This ritualized expression of masculinity, involving behaviour, speech, and physical and emotional posturing, suggests distance, irony, and superiority over outsiders, and delivers to others a clear message of strength and control. Unfortunately, this strategic style has created a chasm between black males who adopt it, and women and other men in their communities. By acting detached calm, fearless, aloof, and tough, they shield themselves from intimate, committed, and caring relationships.
Hardcover: 144 pages