UpFront

The Man-Not, Stereotyping of the Black Male in Society

Cat Brooks interviews Professor Tommy Curry about his book The Man-Not, Race, Class, Genre,  and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood.

 

Tommy J. Curry is a Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies at Texas A&M University, where he holds the prestigious Ray A. Rothrock Fellowship (2013–2016).  He serves as Executive Director of Philosophy Born of Struggle and is the recipient of the USC Shoah Foundation 2016–2017 A.I. and Manet Schepps Foundation Teaching Fellowship. He is the author of The Philosophical Treatise of William H. Ferris: Selected Readings from The African Abroad or, His Evolution in Western Civilization.

 

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Joyce Lee has toured the East Coast and performed at venues across the United States including but not limited too: the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Yoshi’s of San Francisco, First Annual Oakland Gay Pride Parade, Vagina Monologues in San Francisco to fundraise women’s shelters in Haiti, UC Berkeley for Breast Cancer Awareness, 106 KMEL Street Soldiers, NPR SnapJudgment Storytelling, Berkeley Poetry Slam, San Francisco Poetry Slam, Harbin Hot Springs in Sonoma Count

  • Taylor Simone

    Thank you Cat Brooks for having Dr. Tommy J. Curry on Upfront. My father listened to it live, and knowing me, recommended I check it out in the archives. So, I did, and I was as offended by Dr. Curry’s false assertions and equivocation of female intimate partner violence, including homicide of their male partner, as occurring at the same rate of women killed by their male partners. That is just simply not true. And, while I appreciate his intent to raise awareness about the sexual violence and significant differences between the experiences of Black men and white men, he unnecessarily created an adversarial relationship to the experiences of women, particularly in their movement toward women’s liberation, and redefining/reclaiming their bodies, identities and existence.

    Professor Curry’s “zero sum,” “us vs. them,” approach to starting dialogue about trauma in the lives of Black boys, and men, compared traumas as if in a competition to who has been the most sexually victimized, as if to present an argument that Black men are more deserving empathy and study than feminists whose arguments and convictions he claims are based in anecdotal evidence. Clearly, he has not been keeping up with the developments in feminist theory, or perhaps he would be able to recognize how he has replicated the “pecking order,” or hierarchical system of social organization, the “dominator model,” the “deserving victim” narrative that defines patriarchy. Why must one person, or groups trauma be compared to another’s? Can we say, chauvinist?! Good grief, listening to his interview, I heard as much factual data as one could hear listening to right wing pundits talking about “legitimate rape,” and the record breaking number of people who attended Trump’s inauguration. I have never seen data to support his claims that men are equally victims of violence at the hands of women, nor that violence against black men is more lethal than violence against women! I mean, wtf?! Disturbing!

    • Dr. Tommy J. Curry

      Ms. Simone,

      While I appreciate you listening, your comments grossly mischaracterize my actual statements (I would urge you to listen to the interview again) and deny what is actually a quite common view concerning bidirectional violence amongst Black Americans. At no point to I suggest that IPV against Black men is more lethal than IPV against Black women. What I did say is that the literature suggests that Black people’s IPV is more likely to escalate and turn violent because there is more “severe violence between Black men and women” than the general (white) population.

      My concern is that the focus on Black male perpetration blinds the world to Black male victimization. My statements in the interview are based in that problem. I speak about same-sex abuse and rape in the Black community, yet you seem to only focus on the feminist claim concerning victims and perpetration. You have to separate the historical claim about the origin of feminism as imperialist and racist, a movement that targeted Black men post-emancipation, and feminist paradigms of IPV and rape. One is a historical point previously written about by Louise Newman in The Origin of white Women’s Rights for example, and what clinicians are saying about Black people and domestic violence. As I say this is a both/and problem, but people refuse to see Black men as victims. I would urge you to read more instead of suggesting that the information you are not familiar with for instance is merely “fake news” so to speak.

      If you would like to read more about the general claim of bidirectionality I suggest:

      1. Niki Palmetto et al., “Predictors of Physical Intimate Partner Violence in the Lives of Young Women: Victimization, Perpetration, and Bidirectional Violence,” Violence and Victims 28.1 (2013): 103-121

      2. Raul Caetano, Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, Craig A. Field, “Unidirectional and Bidirectional
      Intimate Partner Violence among White, Black, and Hispanic Couples in the United States,” Violence and Victims 20.4 (2005): 393-406

      3. Carolyn West, “Partner Abuse in Ethnic Minority and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations,” Partner Abuse 3.3 (2012): 336-357

      My subsequent claim was about the risk of IPH as an outgrowth of escalation between Black men and women. This work on IPH amongst Blacks was introduced in the mid-90s and simply reported given that Black men were disproportionately the victims of IPH from the 1976-1989. (See Hampton, Robert, Oliver Williams, and Lucia Magarian. 2003. “Domestic Violence in the African American Community: An Analysis of Social and Structural Factors.” Violence against Women 9 (5): 533-557.)

      I have simply argued, and this is consistent with structural theories of Black male inter-personal violence, that previous trauma, poverty, and social marginalization motivates Black male perpetration (see Oliver, William. 2003. “The Structural Culture Perspective: A Theory of Black Male Violence.” In Violent Crime: Assessing Race and Ethnic Differences, edited by Darnell Hawkins, 280-302. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)

      I have suggested that given bidirectionality there has been a focus on Black male perpetration because that is what is coming out of Michael Payamar and Ellen Pence’s Duluth model of IPV. However Ellen Pence said that the origin of the patriarchal/Duluth thesis is not only not clinically tested but was based in her changing the words and intent of victims in survivor circles (See Pence, Ellen L. 1999. “Some Thoughts on Philosophy.” In Coordinating Community Responses to Domestic Violence: Lessons from Duluth and Beyond, edited by Ellen L. Pence and Melanie F. Shepard, 25-40. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.)

      To suggest that the introduction of Black male victimization is hierarchical when there is little to no literature on Black male victims is evidence of my argument. We reject the idea that Black males are abused or raped because it is conceptually impossible and trades off with the suffering of Black women as the “Real Victims.” I am questioning the very logics you are demonstrating.

    • Gat Jones

      That’s Tommy Curry!!!

    • Corey Woods

      I’ve reviewing his work now for an academic journal, and (at the very least) your comments are a mischaracterization of his work.

      • Dr. Tommy J. Curry

        Thank you.

  • Dr. Tommy J. Curry

    Ms. Simone,

    While I appreciate you listening, your comments grossly mischaracterize my actual statements (I would urge you to listen to the interview again) and deny what is actually a quite common view concerning bidirectional violence amongst Black Americans. At no point to I suggest that IPV against Black men is more lethal than IPV against Black women. What I did say is that the literature suggests that Black people’s IPV is more likely to escalate and turn violent because there is more “severe violence between Black men and women” than the general (white) population.

    My concern is that the focus on Black male perpetration blinds the world to Black male victimization. My statements in the interview are based in that problem. I speak about same-sex abuse and rape in the Black community, yet you seem to only focus on the feminist claim concerning victims and perpetration. You have to separate the historical claim about the origin of feminism as imperialist and racist, a movement that targeted Black men post-emancipation, and feminist paradigms of IPV and rape. One is a historical point previously written about by Louise Newman in The Origin of white Women’s Rights for example, and what clinicians are saying about Black people and domestic violence. As I say this is a both/and problem, but people refuse to see Black men as victims. I would urge you to read more instead of suggesting that the information you are not familiar with for instance is merely “fake news” so to speak.

    If you would like to read more about the general claim of bidirectionality I suggest:

    1. Niki Palmetto et al., “Predictors of Physical Intimate Partner Violence in the Lives of Young Women: Victimization, Perpetration, and Bidirectional Violence,” Violence and Victims 28.1 (2013): 103-121

    2. Raul Caetano, Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, Craig A. Field, “Unidirectional and Bidirectional
    Intimate Partner Violence among White, Black, and Hispanic Couples in the United States,” Violence and Victims 20.4 (2005): 393-406

    3. Carolyn West, “Partner Abuse in Ethnic Minority and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations,” Partner Abuse 3.3 (2012): 336-357

    My subsequent claim was about the risk of IPH as an outgrowth of escalation between Black men and women. This work on IPH amongst Blacks was introduced in the mid-90s and simply reported given that Black men were disproportionately the victims of IPH from the 1976-1989. (See Hampton, Robert, Oliver Williams, and Lucia Magarian. 2003. “Domestic Violence in the African American Community: An Analysis of Social and Structural Factors.” Violence against Women 9 (5): 533-557.)

    I have simply argued, and this is consistent with structural theories of Black male inter-personal violence, that previous trauma, poverty, and social marginalization motivates Black male perpetration (see Oliver, William. 2003. “The Structural Culture Perspective: A Theory of Black Male Violence.” In Violent Crime: Assessing Race and Ethnic Differences, edited by Darnell Hawkins, 280-302. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)

    I have suggested that given bidirectionality there has been a focus on Black male perpetration because that is what is coming out of Michael Payamar and Ellen Pence’s Duluth model of IPV. However Ellen Pence said that the origin of the patriarchal/Duluth thesis is not only not clinically tested but was based in her changing the words and intent of victims in survivor circles (See Pence, Ellen L. 1999. “Some Thoughts on Philosophy.” In Coordinating Community Responses to Domestic Violence: Lessons from Duluth and Beyond, edited by Ellen L. Pence and Melanie F. Shepard, 25-40. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.)

  • Dr. Tommy J. Curry

    Ms. Simone,

    While I appreciate you listening, your comments grossly mischaracterize my actual statements (I would urge you to listen to the interview again) and deny what is actually a quite common view concerning bidirectional violence amongst Black Americans. At no point to I suggest that IPV against Black men is more lethal than IPV against Black women. What I did say is that the literature suggests that Black people’s IPV is more likely to escalate and turn violent because there is more “severe violence between Black men and women” than the general (white) population.

    My concern is that the focus on Black male perpetration blinds the world to Black male victimization. My statements in the interview are based in that problem. I speak about same-sex abuse and rape in the Black community, yet you seem to only focus on the feminist claim concerning victims and perpetration. You have to separate the historical claim about the origin of feminism as imperialist and racist, a movement that targeted Black men post-emancipation, and feminist paradigms of IPV and rape. One is a historical point previously written about by Louise Newman in The Origin of white Women’s Rights for example, and what clinicians are saying about Black people and domestic violence. As I say this is a both/and problem, but people refuse to see Black men as victims. I would urge you to read more instead of suggesting that the information you are not familiar with for instance is merely “fake news” so to speak.

    If you would like to read more about the general claim of bidirectionality I suggest:

    1. Niki Palmetto et al., “Predictors of Physical Intimate Partner Violence in the Lives of Young Women: Victimization, Perpetration, and Bidirectional Violence,” Violence and Victims 28.1 (2013): 103-121

    2. Raul Caetano, Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, Craig A. Field, “Unidirectional and Bidirectional
    Intimate Partner Violence among White, Black, and Hispanic Couples in the United States,” Violence and Victims 20.4 (2005): 393-406

    3. Carolyn West, “Partner Abuse in Ethnic Minority and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations,” Partner Abuse 3.3 (2012): 336-357

    My subsequent claim was about the risk of IPH as an outgrowth of escalation between Black men and women. This work on IPH amongst Blacks was introduced in the mid-90s and simply reported given that Black men were disproportionately the victims of IPH from the 1976-1989. (See Hampton, Robert, Oliver Williams, and Lucia Magarian. 2003. “Domestic Violence in the African American Community: An Analysis of Social and Structural Factors.” Violence against Women 9 (5): 533-557.)

    I have simply argued, and this is consistent with structural theories of Black male inter-personal violence, that previous trauma, poverty, and social marginalization motivates Black male perpetration (see Oliver, William. 2003. “The Structural Culture Perspective: A Theory of Black Male Violence.” In Violent Crime: Assessing Race and Ethnic Differences, edited by Darnell Hawkins, 280-302. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)

    I have suggested that given bidirectionality there has been a focus on Black male perpetration because that is what is coming out of Michael Payamar and Ellen Pence’s Duluth model of IPV. However Ellen Pence said that the origin of the patriarchal/Duluth thesis is not only not clinically tested but was based in her changing the words and intent of victims in survivor circles (See Pence, Ellen L. 1999. “Some Thoughts on Philosophy.” In Coordinating Community Responses to Domestic Violence: Lessons from Duluth and Beyond, edited by Ellen L. Pence and Melanie F. Shepard, 25-40. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.)

    To suggest that the introduction of Black male victimization is hierarchical when there is little to no literature on Black male victims is evidence of my argument. We reject the idea that Black males are abused or raped because it is conceptually impossible and trades off with the suffering of Black women as the “Real Victims.” I am questioning the very logics you are demonstrating.

  • Dr. Tommy J. Curry

    Ms. Simone,

    While I appreciate you listening, your comments grossly mischaracterize my actual statements (I would urge you to listen to the interview again) and deny what is actually a quite common view concerning bidirectional violence amongst Black Americans. At no point to I suggest that IPV against Black men is more lethal than IPV against Black women. What I did say is that the literature suggests that Black people’s IPV is more likely to escalate and turn violent because there is more “severe violence between Black men and women” than the general (white) population.

    My concern is that the focus on Black male perpetration blinds the world to Black male victimization. My statements in the interview are based in that problem. I speak about same-sex abuse and rape in the Black community, yet you seem to only focus on the feminist claim concerning victims and perpetration. You have to separate the historical claim about the origin of feminism as imperialist and racist, a movement that targeted Black men post-emancipation, and feminist paradigms of IPV and rape. One is a historical point previously written about by Louise Newman in The Origin of white Women’s Rights for example, and what clinicians are saying about Black people and domestic violence. As I say this is a both/and problem, but people refuse to see Black men as victims. I would urge you to read more instead of suggesting that the information you are not familiar with for instance is merely “fake news” so to speak.

    If you would like to read more about the general claim of bidirectionality I suggest:
    Niki Palmetto et al., “Predictors of Physical Intimate Partner Violence in the Lives of Young Women: Victimization, Perpetration, and Bidirectional Violence,” Violence and Victims

    Raul Caetano, Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, Craig A. Field, “Unidirectional and Bidirectional
    Intimate Partner Violence among White, Black, and Hispanic Couples in the United States,” Violence and Victims

    Carolyn West, “Partner Abuse in Ethnic Minority and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations,” Partner Abuse

    My subsequent claim was about the risk of IPH as an outgrowth of escalation between Black men and women. This work on IPH amongst Blacks was introduced in the mid-90s and simply reported given that Black men were disproportionately the victims of IPH from the 1976-1989. (See Hampton, Robert, Oliver Williams, and Lucia Magarian. “Domestic Violence in the African American Community: An Analysis of Social and Structural Factors.” Violence against Women)

    I have simply argued, and this is consistent with structural theories of Black male inter-personal violence, that previous trauma, poverty, and social marginalization motivates Black male perpetration (see Oliver, William.”The Structural Culture Perspective: A Theory of Black Male Violence.” In Violent Crime: Assessing Race and Ethnic Differences, edited by Darnell Hawkins, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)

    I have suggested that given bidirectionality there has been a focus on Black male perpetration because that is what is coming out of Michael Payamar and Ellen Pence’s Duluth model of IPV. However Ellen Pence said that the origin of the patriarchal/Duluth thesis is not only not clinically tested but was based in her changing the words and intent of victims in survivor circles (See Pence, Ellen L. “Some Thoughts on Philosophy.” In Coordinating Community Responses to Domestic Violence: Lessons from Duluth and Beyond, edited by Ellen L. Pence and Melanie F. Shepard. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.)

    To suggest that the introduction of Black male victimization is hierarchical when there is little to no literature on Black male victims is evidence of my argument. We reject the idea that Black males are abused or raped because it is conceptually impossible and trades off with the suffering of Black women as the “Real Victims.” I am questioning the very logics you are demonstrating.

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