I Am A Man!: Race, Manhood, And The Civil Rights Movement

Front Cover
University of North Carolina Press, 2005 - History - 239 pages
0 Reviews
The civil rights movement was first and foremost a struggle for racial equality, but questions of gender lay deeply embedded within this struggle. Steve Estes explores key groups, leaders, and events in the movement to understand how activists used race and manhood to articulate their visions of what American society should be.

Estes demonstrates that, at crucial turning points in the movement, both segregationists and civil rights activists harnessed masculinist rhetoric, tapping into implicit assumptions about race, gender, and sexuality. Estes begins with an analysis of the role of black men in World War II and then examines the segregationists, who demonized black male sexuality and galvanized white men behind the ideal of southern honor. Later, he explores the militant new models of manhood espoused by civil rights activists and groups such as Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Black Panther Party.

Reliance on masculinist organizing strategies had both positive and negative consequences, Estes concludes. Tracing these strategies from the integration of the U.S. military in the 1940s through the Million Man March in the 1990s, he shows that masculinism rallied men to action but left unchallenged many of the patriarchal assumptions that underlay American society.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Related books

About the author (2005)

Steven Estes holds Masters of Divinity and Masters of Theology degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary and Columbia Bible College. He is the senior pastor of Community Evangelical Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania. With Joni Tada, he co-authored A Step Further and When God Weeps and also wrote Called to Die, the biography of slain missionary linguist Chet Bitterman.

Bibliographic information