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Savior of the Race: The Messianic Burdens of Black Masculinity

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Abstract This paper is concerned with the messianic construction of manhood within African American communities in North America and its normative imprint in shaping and measuring masculinity among African Americans. In this essay, messianic manhood is treated as a utopian construction of masculinity that is found in liberal and conservative constructions of Protestant Christianity. In examining this tradition of manhood, representative messianic men are interrogated who have participated in and have been shaped by this tradition. Overall, messianic manhood is inconceivable apart from an oral tradition of preaching and singing where the person of Jesus is understood as Lord, savior, and ally of the oppressed.

Affiliations: 1: Wake Forest University Winston-Salem nc USA


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