Neal and Jackson both write about definitions of gender and its relation to society. Both readings illuminate the importance of understanding deeper meanings of black masculinities and identity. They acknowledge that there are misconceptions and generalizations about the “New Black Man” and black masculinities in general. Jackson brought up an interesting point about identity, “sexual preference, physical ability, and a host of other ontological facets cannot be disjoint” (81*). I agree with this point because if you were asked to list different sections of these terms, you could. However, could you rank them in order of importance – no. This is because “race, class, and gender” are managed together (81*). They have to be understood as negotiations, identity cannot be put into boxes or menus. This is why census forms are problematic. If you choose parts of yourself separately then you do not get an encompassing whole identity. These texts are tied to the course as Jackson gives a thorough explanation of black masculinities, including examples of gay men and masculine females that parallel with the Moore reading and Neal gives guidelines and experiences about the New Black Man. These ideas are important in the context of black masculinities because they show what black masculinities are to America and why it is essential to understand.
*Citations reflect kindle edition of text