Acting Out Black “Mask-ulinity”: Male Struggles for Identity in Three Plays by August Wilson
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In the framework of the relevant theories or concepts related to the performativity of black masculinity, this thesis analyzes the performance crisis observed among black males in Wilson s canon. As a collection of roles and performances, bell hooks plantation patriarchy, Richard Majors and Janet Billson s cool pose and Robert Staples masculine mystique concepts provide a theoretical framework to understand the ongoing crisis in black masculinity in Wilson s Joe Turner Come and Gone, Ma Rainey s Black Bottom and Fences. As a solution to this crisis, August Wilson, through his black male characters, highlights resistance to European American representations of African American manhood, promoting instead, a spiritual and cultural connection with the African American community and a recognition and appraisal of their ancestry.