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Cassandra Jackson on “The Death of Black Boyhood:” 4th annual Gloria Harper Dickinson Lecture, April 17, 2013

Cassandra Jackson on “The Death of Black Boyhood:” 4th annual Gloria Harper Dickinson Lecture, April 17, 2013


Cassandra Jackson
Prof. Cassandra Jackson, TCNJ English Department

Professor Cassandra Jackson, Professor of English at TCNJ, will discuss “The Death of Black Boyhood,” at the fourth annual Gloria Harper Dickinson Memorial Lecture on April 17, 2013 at 4 PM at the TCNJ Library auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The presentation’s title is taken from Prof. Jackson’s June, 2012 Huffington Post essay, in which she argued:

“The construction of black boys as men has meant that like black men, they must navigate the complex amalgam of being feared and targeted at once. Thus, the very characteristics that we so often find tolerable and even desirable in white male adolescents — exuberance, willfulness, and impulsivity — could get a black boy killed. There is no such thing as black boyhood in American culture, and black boys’ imaginary manhood is being used as an excuse to bully and brutalize them.”

Jackson’s essay engaged current controversies surrounding the treatment of black males, such as the Feb., 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, and the New York City Police Department’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, which has disproportionately targeted young African-American and Latino men. However, the issues surrounding violence against black males are

Tony Gleaton's
Tony Gleaton’s “Un hijo de Yemayá (A Child of Yemaya), Hopkins, Belize,” is part of the 2011 “Wounding the Black Male” exhibit curated by Prof. Jackson and Sarah Cunningham.

not new to her. Her 2010 book, Violence, Visual Culture and the Black Male Body (Routlege) analyzes representations of violence against black boys and men in music, art and literature. She also collaborated with curator Sarah Cunningham on a complementary photography exhibit, “Wounding the Black Male, Photographs from the Light Works Collection,” was staged at TCNJ’s Art Gallery in 2011.

The Gloria Harper Dickinson Lecture Series honors the legacy of Dr. Gloria Dickinson, a founding faculty member and former chair of the African American Studies Department, past president of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH) and former International Director for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. (AKA).