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Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America Hardcover – October 25, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (October 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385510020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385510028
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"For a lot of men, how you hang has a lot to do with who you hang with, where you hang, and sometimes, how long you hang once you get there," writes Poulson-Bryant, founding editor of Vibe and co-author of What's your Hi-Fi IQ?, in his new book, a libidinous hybrid of cultural commentary and personal anecdotes. The pervasive belief that African American men are prodigiously endowed presents a conundrum for the contemporary black male, who is simultaneously drawn to- and repelled by- this notion. In the book's opening pages, Poulson-Bryant admits that, as an African American man, he should be "hung like a horse," but he's not, nor does he want to be. "I think of black-man dick and I think that once upon a time we were hung from trees for being, well, hung." Today, Poulson-Bryant says, black men risk being viewed as little more than an engorged sex organ. Take "Simon" for example, a successful athlete who refuses to take showers at the gym and changes clothes with a towel wrapped around him, because he would rather be a star on the basketball court than in the locker room. For those seeking an academic approach, Poulson-Bryant's "meditation" on the "measure of black men in America" may not measure-up, as much of the research is internet-based or culled from anecdotal narratives provided by largely unnamed acquaintances. Still, Poulson-Bryant's assertion that black men "need to start thinking like the Big Swinging Dicks on Wall Street instead of acting like the Big Swinging Dicks of the public's fascination" has the kind of thrust and vigor necessarily to stimulate dialogue on this topic.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Hung is deeply compelling, disturbing, complex . . . Brave Scott Poulson-Bryant, for putting his size on the line and truly measuring up.” —Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues


Praise for Hung

“Like a new lover, Hung is seductive, startling, smart, and seditious.” —Jill Nelson, author of Sexual Healing

“In Hung, Scott really goes there, talking honestly and telling secrets about the black phallus and its, uh, massive impact on America.” —Touré, author of Never Drank the Kool-Aid


From the Trade Paperback edition.

More About the Author

My name is Scott Poulson-Bryant, I was born and raised in Long Island, New York, and I've wroked as a journalist and author for several years. Educated at Brown University (and presently a PhD student at Harvard), I was a co-founding editor of VIBE Magazine, and my writing has appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone, the New York Times, SPIN Magazine, Essence, Ebony, and the London Guardian. My journalism specialty was the celebrity profile, and I've interviewed and covered such artists and performers as Prince, Janet Jackson, Beyonce, R, Kelly, Eddie Murphy, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Shaquille O'Neal, Dennis Rodman, and Will Smith.

I'm the author of HUNG: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America and the forthcoming novel The VIPs.

I enjoy big page-turning novels, cable TV dramas (nothing's better than "Mad Men, "Sons of Anarchy" and "Breaking Bad," may "The Shield" and "The Wire" RIP), old movies, all kinds of music, and sneakers (particularly Adidas).

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Scott Poulson-Bryant is a bright young artist with heady credentials and a true gift for creative thinking and well-crafted writing skills. He joins the growing ranks of young African American strong writers such as E.L. Ayala, E. Lynn Harris, Keith Boykin, J.L. King, Caesar Brunswick, Christopher David, and Stanley Bennett Clay who not only address issues heretofore considered taboo in the Black community, but succeed not only as brave new voices but also as gifted, important writers.

HUNG: A MEDITATION ON THE MEASURE OF BLACK MEN IN AMERICA starts out with a terrific cover, promises revelation of secrets everyone wants to know, addresses his reader with pertinent facts, and then progresses to relax and offer a rather personalized memoir of his experiences as a black man in America, a man who knows the myths and the realities about phallic secrets, and shares his own insights as well as those of gentlemanly unnamed confidents from whom he gathers his facts.

Along the way Poulson-Bryant not only discusses phallus size, but he also explores the mystique of black men who model for books (Mapplethorpe is a frequent reference point), the porn industry, the world of athletes (yes, naming names), the rap world, and the executive world. But he doesn't limit his meditation to experiences interviewing men: Poulson-Bryant wisely includes women in his foray of questioning the importance of size as a feature of desirability vs. myth vs. disadvantage. It is a well-rounded book and one that never lets the interest lag.

But what one comes away with from this book is an appreciation of the exceptional style of writing of Scott Poulson-Bryant. He is a writer of charm, of humor, of wit, and of intelligence. This reader would like to see how he performs in the field of fiction: in reportage he is up there with the best! Grady Harp, October 06
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on December 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Is it a myth that Black men are more hung than White men? Do White men possess "penis envy" because of what is purported to be a myth? In the grand scheme of things, does size really matter? And if it does, whom does it matter to most? Author Scott Poulson-Bryant discusses these and other questions concerning Black male sexuality in HUNG: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America. Amusing and sometimes chatty, this book delves heavily into the discussion about why people are so caught up in the size of the male penis. Men, White and Black alike, sometimes subconsciously use the penis size as a measuring point for their own sexuality. White men, the author reports, sometimes develop an envious nature when it comes to Black men because of their fixation on the "hungature" a Black man has. He traces this back to the slavery era when Black men were hung because of the perceived sexual threat to White women as White men saw it.

Some Black men, to a certain degree, use penis size to measure their own success. From the childhood games that little boys play to the locker rooms they share as adults, Black men are checking each other out to see how they measure up. And yes, men do check each other out. Mr. Poulson-Bryant even relates a humorous story where a Black male didn't get any respect until his comrades discovered he was well endowed. The author also covers how women relate to this issue as well. Surprisingly enough, this matter also causes quite a stir in the gay community.

The author provides an entertaining as well as interesting dialogue on the fixation America seems to have on phallic size. He provides this discussion through engaging accounts of his true-life experiences and those of people he has interviewed.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Bradford on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
In the 1960s, before the boom of hard-core pornography, there was a big market for soft-core. Sell The Sizzle, Not The Steak! was the mantra of soft-core. HUNG is all sizzle and no steak. The author is a very talented writer, but he seems to be gagging on his own politics. In the world of Scott Poulson-Bryant, if you don't like black men you are a racist. If you do like black men you are a racist (or at best an eracist) since you only like them because they are black. And that damned if you do, damned if you don't way of thinking seems to permeate much of his writing. He even delves into what I call the Politics of Perception: if a black man takes photographs of black men, it's art. If a white man takes photographs of black men, it's exploitation (or as the author puts it, a cultural violation). It's all about the black and the white. Grey does not exist in the world of Scott Poulson-Bryant, but I guess that is life on the Color Line.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Black Book Lover on April 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Hung is an intelligent and fearless examination of the ways that the centuries-old sexual stereotypes about African American men have and continue to shape Black men's self-image today. I have used this book in the classroom (at the college level), and it always sparks a lively and productive discussion on the ways that objectification can and does effect specific populations of men.

The prose is lucid and highly readable, but never dumbed-down or simplistic. Poulson-Bryant has an interesting mind, and his candor about his and the lives of other Black men in his age group and beyond as refreshing as it is revealing.
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