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New Black Man [Paperback]

by Mark Anthony Neal
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 30, 2006 0415979919 978-0415979917 New Ed
From headlines to street corners, the message resounds: Black men are in crisis. Politicians, preachers, and pundits routinely cast blame on those already ostracized within African American communities. But the crisis of black masculinity does not rest with "at-risk" youth of the hip-hop generation or men "on the down low" alone. In this provocative new book, acclaimed cultural critic Mark Anthony Neal argues that the "Strong Black Man"-an ideal championed by generations of African American civic leaders-may be at the heart of problems facing black men today.

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New Black Man + Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities (Postmillennial Pop)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

One of the most brilliant cultural critics of his generation...Neal writes gracefully, thinks sharply, speaks cogently and is old school and new school at once. He's my favorite cultural critic and one hip brother. -- Michael Eric Dyson, Chicago Sun-Times
You won't find many scholars with Neal's deep and abiding knowledge of contemporary black popular culture, and you won't find any able to throw down such head-noddin' prose. -- Robin D. G. Kelley, Columbia University
Mark Anthony Neal's critique of old modes of discussing black masculinity is eloquent. Indeed, his analysis of the 'the strong black man' and the risks that idea poses to black liberation is long overdue. Engaging, thoughtful, and soulful, this important book is part cultural criticism and part blueprint for a new version of black masculinity (without homophobia and misogyny). I, for one, welcome the arrival onto the scene of the 'new black man'. -- Dwight A. McBride
You need oxygen to breathe more than the fetid air of homophobia, misogyny, antiblack racism in the empire and its possessions. Read Mark Anthony Neal's New Black Man. Here, Neal redefines the 'burden' and expands the struggle for a society free of denigration and violence. -- Joy James
Mark Anthony Neal has always been a daring scholar, but in this work he does pirouettes on a razor's edge, deliberately and deftly defying the keepers of the weary worn 'race man' trope and all its essentialist trappings. -- E. Patrick Johnson
Mark Anthony Neal's New Black Man is a fascinating exploration of an important scholar's acknowledgement of black feminism as a central mode of cultural investigation and a mode of humane existence. -- Michael Awkward
Neal's new work is sharp, provocative, and often laugh-out-loud funny in the manner of Michael Eric Dyson and Ishmael Reed (caveat: Neal's language can be rough). Taken in conjunction with Phillip Brian Harper's Are We Not Men?:
Masculine Anxiety and the Problems of African-American Identity , this book is a clarion call that should be read by the entire African American community.
. -- Library Journal
Neal is refreshingly honest in his attempt to forge a new model of Black manhood. He admits that he himself is still struggling to overcome the sexist and homophobic views he held in the past. There are still occasions when he refuses to speak out against homophobia, fearing criticism from other Black males. However, Neal understands the importance of opposing the 'Strong Black Man' concept, which often denies the humanity of others...New Black Man offers many stimulating ideas and slays many of the sacred cows of the Black Community...New Black Man is an important book. Neal is a proud member of the hip-hop generation. Considering the many antiprogressive messages in that genre of music and the culture it produces, his book is a welcome addition to the discipline of Black popular cultural studies. -- Free Inquiry

About the Author

Mark Anthony Neal is Associate Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Program in African and African-American Studies at Duke University. His column, "Critical Noir," appears weekly on AOL Black Voices, and he is a regular commentator on NPR. He is author of What the Music Said, Soul Babies, and Songs in the Key of Black Life, and co-editor of That's the Joint: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader, all published by Routledge.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (August 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415979919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415979917
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Anthony Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University, where he won the 2010 Robert B. Cox Award for Teaching. He is the author of four books, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003) and New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005). Neal is also the co-editor (with Murray Forman) of That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader, 2nd Edition which will be published by Routledge in April of 2011 Neal's next book Looking for Leroy: (Il)Legible Black Masculinities will be published next year by New York University Press.

Neal hosts the weekly webcast, 'Left of Black' in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University (Duke on Demand). A frequent commentator for National Public Radio, Neal is a weekly columnist for theLoop21.com and also contributes to several on-line media outlets, including The Root.com, theGrio.com, SeeingBlack.com and Britain's New Black Magazine. Neal maintains a blog at NewBlackMan (http://newblackman.blogspot.com/). You can follow him on Twitter @NewBlackMan.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Dr. Neal asserts that the decades-old image of the "Strong Black Man" is often used to excuse misogyny and homophobia among black men. He goes on record in detailing how black male adults use the excuse of white racism in order to get away with abusing black women, black children, and black gays and lesbians. Thus, Dr. Neal posits that we need a "New Black Man": one who is committed to supporting black feminism, fighting anti-gay bigotry, and providing childcare for one's biological or adopted children.

This book really, really, really needs to be read alongside Patricia Hill-Collins "Black Sexual Politics." This book is original and refreshing, but there are many ways in which it is just a man saying "I second!" to what Dr. Hill-Collins already brought up. Both book name a lot of problems without providing many solutions, but that in no way denies that both are fierce reads. SNAP!

This book would be a great introduction to black feminism for men or women. It refers to many other texts on which progressive readers must get their hands. But then again, I thought some texts were missing. His ruminations on hip hop were almost exactly like the one in Rebecca Walker's "Daring to Be Bad" anthology. He talks of black fatherhood, but never mentions Earl Ofari Hutchison who has written two books on the topic. Still, he sometimes praises black women writers that I think are problematic. Julianne Malveaux has written things that I think are obnoxiously homophobic. I once saw a reading where Ntozake Shange was high and yelled out, "You can always a N*GGA to take you home!"

Throughout this book, Dr. Neal, a heterosexual brother, gives praise to his academic mentor Dr. Alexis De Veaux, a lesbian sister. I loved this unity across multiple identities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book January 9, 2012
By E. King
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For anyone seeking a better understanding of the inner working of black men - this is the book for you. I love how Neal expresses a mature and uncomplicated view of the inner struggles some black men face. It made me laugh and go "hmmm" I would recommend this book - for mature readers only
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Publisher & a Critic (courtesy of Barnes & Noble) September 28, 2005
Format:Hardcover
FROM THE PUBLISHER

"'In this book, acclaimed cultural critic Mark Anthony Neal argues that the ''Strong Black Man'' - an ideal championed by generations of African American civic leaders - may be at the heart of problems facing black men today. Despite the good intentions of its creation, he contends, this rigid model is used too often as justification for the oppression and mistreatment of black women and children. Neal urges us to imagine instead a ''New Black Man'' - a revolutionary model of black masculinity for the twenty-first century that moves beyond patriarchy to promote family, community, and diversity.' Part memoir, part manifesto, this book celebrates the black man of our times in all his vibrancy and virility. It is a tribute to a new face on the horizon of black America that is not to be missed."

FROM THE CRITICS

Library Journal

"Who or what is the 'New Black Man'? Neal (black popular culture, Duke Univ.; Songs in the Key of Black Life) argues that, to survive, contemporary black men must disassociate themselves from the figure of the 'Strong Black Man' as designed by W.E.B. Du Bois and Frederick Douglass and instead embrace that of the New Black Man, whose strength resides in community, family, and diversity. This new model derides sexism and homophobia, which Neal argues have sprung inadvertently from the models of the past. Far from being a dull polemic, Neal's new work is sharp, provocative, and often laugh-out-loud funny in the manner of Michael Eric Dyson and Ishmael Reed (caveat: Neal's language can be rough). Taken in conjunction with Phillip Brian Harper's Are We Not Men?: Masculine Anxiety and the Problems of African-American Identity, this book is a clarion call that should be read by the entire African American community. Highly recommended for all academic and public libraries."--Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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5 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow and unsubstantial April 23, 2008
Format:Paperback
In a book entitled "New Black Man," one would expect a cultural critic such as Mark Anthony Neal, a professor at Duke University, to do a lot more than merely reference rap videos and pulp fiction as evidence of how Black American men think. Unfortunately, he doesn't. He is no Gunnar Myrdal, and his assessments of the alleged sexism, ethnic chauvinism and homophobia of black men are largely based on hearsay. This is not to say that black American men aren't frequently sexist, chauvinist or homophobic, or want to dominate their girlfriends/spouses. But Neal does not, in any concrete fashion, analyze the dynamics behind such appalling behavior on the part of certain black men. He just gives us a bunch of attitude, and as such, the book falls flat on its face.
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