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Black Men and Masculinities


Jamilah’s work on Black men and masculinities has the following objectives:

  • Destigmatize Black men and masculinities by exposing the racist and sexist roots of western approaches to researching Black men, with a legacy in 16th-19th century euro-colonial logic, and racial science.

  • Bring awareness to the diverse ways that Black masculinities are expressed and embodied across the sexuality spectrum. 

  • Illuminate the ways that Black men have and continue to challenge negative and stereotypical representations and expressions of masculinity. 

  • Illuminate the way Black men and women across the sexuality and gender spectrum have and continue to work together to challenge systems of anti-Black racism and sexism.

  • Engaging in the above to develop new approaches for social science research to study and understand Black men across the gender and sexuality spectrum and introducing new ideas for community organizers for how to cultivate coalitions within Black communities

Black Masculinities in Canada: Multimedia Research on Black Men and Gender Advocacy

Keywords: Black masculinity, Canada, Counternarratives, Misandry, Advocacy, Community Organizing, Black women, Black Lives Matter. This study spotlights humanizing representations of Black masculinities in Canada, specifically by passing Black men the mic to express how they are participating in the current climate of gender and race advocacy and investigating the way Black men across the gender and sexuality spectrum define masculinities outside of stereotypes. To achieve this objective, this study resolves the following questions: 1) How do Black men in Canada define and redefine Black masculinities? 2) How do Black men engage in race and gender advocacy in Canada? 3) How do Black men work with Black women and Black gay, trans, and non-binary communities to promote change in Canada? By resolving the research question, this study aims to provide the Canadian context of Black male advocacy, diversity, and gender relations.

Rap and Modern Love: The Expression of Intimate Masculinity in Mainstream Rap

Keywords: rap music, black masculinity, hypermasculinity, intimate masculinity, heterosexual relationships. The hypermasculine black man, often construed as hypersexual, aggressive, violent and misogynistic, fuels the multibillion-dollar hip-hop industry (Boyd 2002, 2004; Jeffries 2011), leading some scholars to disparage hip-hop for demeaning black men and inciting youth deviance (Forman 2013; Malton 2010). Informed by a critical reading of Hip-Hop Studies, the Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities (CSMM) and Modern Love Studies, I argue that the association of black men with hypermasculinity has its roots in longstanding race and gender prejudices (hooks 1992, 2004; Wallace 1978). To broaden the scope of these representations, I conducted a thematic analysis of mainstream rap songs (N=22) by black male rappers to explore the question: How do black male rap artists use non-hypermasculine expressive strategies to articulate their relationships with women? The directed and derived analysis results show that 60% of the songs displayed non-hypermasculine expressions including, admiration, heartbreak, infatuation, love, ideations of self-harm, and vulnerabilities. Considering my findings, I coined the concept of Intimate Masculinity that I argue, can serve as a working framework to investigate and signify the emotional diversity of black men. This work was published in The Forgotten Realities of Men, University of British Columbia Press 2024, and presented at The Black Canadian Studies Conference 2019 and the Masculinity, Emotion and Popular Music Symposium 2024.

Other Research

Queen Elizabeth Scholars Fellowship

The QES fellowship involves scholars from Concordia and the University of Ghana will be collaborating to deepen knowledge on transnational feminism and knowledge exchange between Canada and Ghana, West Africa. Jamilah is pursuing research in the areas of African masculinities and gender relations and Afro feminism and decolonization. The research will be taking place in Montreal during the spring of 2024 and in Ghana during the summer of 2024. The transnational research team will be sharing their research process and findings in workshops, conferences and a special issue publication.

Mapping Decolonizing Practices in Higher Education

A pilot study is being conducted on the representation of decolonizing at McGill University and Concordia University to advance higher education research on the way decolonization is defined and being pursued within Canadian schools. A content analysis is being conducted on Mcgill and Concordia webpages related to decolonization.

Implementing Anti-Racism Educational Resources into the Classroom

A pilot study was conducted to test the use-value of the educational videos within the Anti-Racist Pedagogy project. A sample of faculty and their students were recruited from Concordia University, Mcgill University, Vanier, Dawson and John Abbot Colleges in Montreal, Quebec. The faculty reflected on their experiences integrating the educational videos into their class. The findings from this study are being used to deepen practitioner knowledge on the rolling question: How can antiracism educational videos of lived experiences be integrated into the classroom?

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