East Meets BlackAsian and Black Masculinities in the Post-Civil Rights Era

East Meets BlackAsian and Black Masculinities in the Post-Civil Rights Era

Chong Chon-Smith

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9781628462050

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


This book provides an understanding of the inspiring, contradictory, hostile, resonant, and unarticulated ways in which Asian American and African American cultural formation occurs. Through the interpretation of labor department documents, popular journalism, and state discourses, the book historicizes the formation of both the construction of black “pathology” and the Asian “model minority.” Beginning with the Moynihan Report and journalistic reports about Asian Americans as “model minority,” black and Asian men were racialized together, as if “racially magnetized.” Through the concept of racial magnetism, the book examines both dominant and emergent representations of Asian and African American masculinities as mediating figures for the contradictions of race, class, and gender in post-civil rights U.S.A. The post-civil rights era names this specific race for U.S. citizenship and class advantage, when massive Asian technocratic immigration and decline of African American industrial labor helped usher in a new period of laissez faire class struggle and racial realignment. While the state abandoned social programs at home and expanded imperial projects overseas, state discourses posited that the post-civil rights moment was a period of imminent racial danger because Black Power and the Asian American Movement challenged the understanding that social equality through civil rights had been achieved. The book studies both the dominant discourses that “pair” African American and Asian American racialized masculinities together, and it examines the African American and Asian American counter-discourses—in literature, film, popular sport, hip-hop music, performance arts, and internet subcultures—that link social movements and cultural production as active critical responses to this dominant formation.