Black Male Exceptionalism? The Problems and Potential of Black Male-Focused Interventions

DuBois Review, Vol. 10, pp. 485-511, 2013

28 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2014  

Paul D. Butler

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

“Black male exceptionalism” is the premise that African American men fare more poorly than any other group in the United States. The discourse of Black male exceptionalism presents African American men as an “endangered species.” Some government agencies, foundations, and activists have responded by creating “Black male achievement” programs. There are almost no corresponding “Black female achievement” programs. Yet empirical data does not support the claim that Black males are burdened more than Black females. Without attention to intersectionality, Black male achievement programs risk obscuring Black females and advancing patriarchal values. Black male achievement programs also risk reinforcing stereotypes that African American males are violent and dangerous. An intersectional approach would create space for Black male focused interventions, but require parity for Black female programs.

Keywords: black males, black females, Ebony Magazine, masculinity, achievement programs, intersectionality, exceptionalism, inequality

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Butler, Paul D., Black Male Exceptionalism? The Problems and Potential of Black Male-Focused Interventions (2013). DuBois Review, Vol. 10, pp. 485-511, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2388981

Paul D. Butler (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
159
Rank
149,587
Abstract Views
1,089