What is the Future of Black Males?

In The Art of Being Cool: The Pursuit of Black Masculinity, Theodore Ransaw, PhD, has written a unique treatment of African American masculinity. Many Black males are torn between academics and thug culture and it appears the latter is winning. Large numbers of Black males are in remedial reading, special education, failing classes, suspended and dropping out of school and dropping into street and prison culture. Ransaw has established mentorship programs involving Black male students. In addition, as he points out in his introduction, he accustomed himself early on to being the “other” kid, a stance which empowered his ability to transform his uniqueness into an identity that suited him best. Ransaw recognized that having mentors in his life was critical to his growth and development. He brought these experiences and his academic knowledge to bear upon The Art of Being Cool: The Pursuit of Black Masculinity, articulating means and outcomes by which Black males have shaped their masculinity, both in the United States and elsewhere-in the present and the past.

The book contains a number of distinctive features. The wealth of references is an indication of Ransaw’s targeted audience and embraces his multifaceted approach. Sociologists, psychologists, educators, administrators, and others will not be disappointed when they read this book. The Art of Being Cool: The Pursuit of Black Masculinity delves into fear of Black men, the macho ideal, economics, influences of media and myths surrounding Black males, and other topics to lend a multidimensional perspective. Ransaw’s discussions include: how social capital and physical capital empower African American males’ navigation in school and professions; how mentor-mentee relationships can involve elements of academic and personal “cool”; how the school-to-prison-to-forced labor pipeline exists and gets encouraged; how Black men have demonstrated cool throughout the Americas and Africa; and how hip-hop offers Black men and male teens the global venue and form of communication to reinforce their social and physical capital and thus, their cool.

In addition Ransaw believes African American masculinity has been misinterpreted if at all, and Black men require the filters of social and physical capital to succeed in a world largely determined to ignore or objectify them-this book supplies practical tips to reinforce African American males’ capacity to exercise the art of being truly and substantively cool. As Ransaw asserts, “Masculinity is a pursuit, not a destination.” This highly recommended book thoughtfully examines the journey that Black males take toward wholeness.

Product Details
Title: The Art of Being Cool: The Pursuit of Black Masculinity
Length: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-193-4155-84-5
Price: $16.95

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