African-American Studies

Why do you believe Black men were fighting so hard to prove their manhood/masculinity and who do you think they were trying to prove it to? Definition of masculinity.

Masculinity is a combination of attributes, roles, and behaviors that are related with men and boys. It combines sociological and biological factors. Manhood traits defining masculinity include independence, courage, and assertiveness. Black men were fighting hard to prove their masculinity to identify with their norms such as their strength, emotions that are restricted, ability to achieve, self-reliant nature, aggression to attain things and homophobia.

Black men proved their masculinity to prove the ability to protect the family and provide food through hunting and gardening as their women assisted with household care, food preparation and rearing children. In addition, men proved their masculinity to enable their young boys grow up like strong men and perfectly know how to execute manhood duties. The men would be role models to their young boys. Due to their masculine nature, their women would trust them with their families and depend that they would provide for them.

Black men proved their masculinity to their wives and community to be respected and honored. They were aggressive in their fight in the battle to protect their community wealth and livestock from theft by other communities. Moreover, they would be allowed to marry the best girl in the community. Their strength allowed them to fight animals that attacked their livestock while in the fields.

Masculinity was aggressively proved by men for proper execution of division of labor among them and their women. Through their masculine nature, their women could not enslave them since they earned dignity and respect. In conclusion, they showed their masculinity to demonstrate their ability to fight with their opponents who could attack them and enslave them.




Davis. (n.d). The Legacy of slavery: standards for a new womanhood.

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