Queer Futures: Mark Anthony Neal on "Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities
Looking for Leroy is an analysis of the complex ways in
which black masculinity has been read and misread through contemporary American
popular culture. Neal argues that black men and boys are bound, in profound
ways, to and by their legibility. The most legible black male bodies are
often rendered as criminal, bodies in need of policing and containment.
Ironically, Neal argues, this sort of legibility brings welcome relief to white
America, providing easily identifiable images of black men in an era defined by
shifts in racial, sexual, and gendered identities.
Mark Anthony Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University, where he won the 2010 Robert B. Cox Award for Teaching. He is the author of What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture, Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic, Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation, and New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity.
Reception to follow. Copies of Looking for Leroy will be available for purchase.