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“What does it mean to be a man?”: codes of black masculinity in Toni Morrison’s paradise and love

 

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Opened Access “What does it mean to be a man?”: codes of black masculinity in Toni Morrison’s paradise and love
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Author: Gallego Durán, María del Mar
Date: 2009
Published in: Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos, 14, 49-65
Document type: Article
Abstract: Within the debate over the representation of contemporary Black masculinity, Morrison has played a pioneering role, especially in two of her novels –Paradise (1998) and Love (2003)– where her intervention in this debate has become deeply influential due to not only her incisive portrayal of the figure of the patriarch and the devastating effects of the institution of patriarchy on the African American family and community, but also because she has shaped “alternative masculinities,” or diverse embodiments of what it actually means to be a Black man nowadays. Morrison is bent on changing their representation by providing plural models of masculinity, which necessarily take into account other identity markers such as sexuality, class, politics, etc, in an attempt at deconstructing a monolithic or essentialist view of African American masculinity. Dentro del debate sobre la representación de la masculinidad negra contemporánea, Morrison ha jugado un papel pionero, especialmente en dos de sus novelas –Paraíso (1998) y Amor (2003)– en las que su intervención en este debate ha resultado muy infl uyente debido no sólo a su retrato incisivo de la fi gura del patriarca y de los devastadores efectos de la institución del patriarcado en la familia y comunidad afro-americanas; sino también porque ha diseñado “masculinidades alternativas,” o diversas formas de lo que signifi ca ser un hombre negro en la actualidad. La intención de Morrison es cambiar esa representación ofreciendo modelos plurales de masculinidad, que tomen en cuenta otras señas de identidad como son la sexualidad, la clase, la política, etc, en un intento por deconstruir una visión monolítica o esencialista de la masculinidad afro-americana.
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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11441/31829

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