Lecture by Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo (University of Ghana)
Changing socio-historical contexts notwithstanding, decades after feminist scholars first applied the lens of patriarchy to examine constructions and performances of masculinity to explain gender inequalities, many narratives about young black man have remained static and de-void of nuance.
They are still vilified as sexual or otherwise violent predators; lazy n’er-do-wells; political mobsters or gangsters; or bearers of disease (eg. HIV). Alternatively the black male is frequently the object of racial fetishism—presented as a super stud. Where different scenarios are presented, such as of the caring, stay-at-home father, or the sensitive son, they often come across as stories of the exceptional man. This lecture explores constructions and imaginings of black/African masculinities via conversations with young men in Africa and the Diaspora. I focus especially on the ways in which men recognise and acknowledge their vulnerabilities (or not), and how they respond to and cope with these.
About the lecturer
Akosua Adomako Ampofo is Professor of African and Gender Studies at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana (UG). An activist scholar, her work addresses African Knowledge systems; Higher education; Identity Politics; Gender relations; and Popular Culture. Adomako Ampofo is President of the African Studies Association of Africa http://www.as-aa.org/index.php/officers; Editor-in-Chief, Contemporary Journal of African Studies; Co-Editor, Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa blog, www.cihablog.com as well as African Studies Review. She is a fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her work has been variously recognized including being a 3-time Fulbright scholar; recipient of the Feminist Activism Award (Sociologists for Women and Society, 2010) and the African Studies Review Distinguished lecturer (2015; published in 2016 as “Re-viewing Studies on Africa, #Black Lives Matter, and Envisioning the Future of African Studies” African Studies Review (59)2: 7-27).