Reconstructing Black Masculinity

Please watch the video above!

Tyler Perry is representative of a man who portrays a crazy African American “Grandma” role in every play or movie that he is in. The most interesting thing is that he writes all of these scripts for both the movies and the plays. In the bell hooks, “Black Looks” book there is a chapter that she talks about Reconstructing Black Masculinity. I find this very interesting considering how he represents Madea. She is loud, ghetto, and not a very good representative of an African American “grandmother” . It saddens me as an African American that he chooses to portray her in this fashion in every role. It saddens me even more that he is a male playing this role. This makes me question the point of his identity. His attempt is to appeal to the African American audience in hopes that we will laugh and understand what he is portraying. I will admit, I used to watch every movie and play and die of hysterical laughter but now that I am older it saddens me. This is not how him as an African American man should portray an African American woman. His masculinity is constantly being question in the African American community contrary to what he has said in many interviews. If we as African Americans want respect we have to start playing better roles in society and showing that we are better than what we portray.

-Shannon Dixon

tags: black masculinity, hooks, tyler perry

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