Black Male Outsider
Teaching as a Pro-Feminist Man
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One man’s account of becoming a feminist professor.
This fascinating book traces the development of the author's consciousness as a black male pro-feminist professor. Gary L. Lemons explores the meaning of black male feminism by examining his experiences at the New York City college where he taught for more than a decade—a small, private, liberal arts college where the majority of the students were white and female. Through a series of classroom case studies, he presents the transformative power of memoir writing as a strategic tool for enabling students to understand the critical relationship between the personal and the political. From the insightful inclusion of his own personal narratives about his childhood experience of domestic violence, to stories about being a student and teacher in majority white classrooms for most of his life, Lemons takes the reader on a provocative journey about what it means to be black, male, and pro-feminist.
Gary L. Lemons is Visiting Professor of English at the University of South Florida.
"In this compelling, readable volume that is part memoir, part classroom case study Dr. Gary L. Lemons employs the theme of moving from silence to voice, and what this means for anti-racist, feminist pedagogy. He eloquently writes about his experiences teaching and learning in majority white classrooms as a pro-feminist, African American man. " — Feminist Review
"After the manner of bell hooks … this memoir is a captivating mixture of 'professional' and 'confessional' approaches … In the end, [Lemons] emerges not only as one of the most influential black male feminists, but also as a 'wounded healer' of no small magnitude … Reading Black Male Outsider, we must gladly admit that something subtle but profound has shifted in our culture and society. " — Ms. Magazine
"Lemons … takes readers on a fascinating and provocative journey into what it means to be black, male, and pro-feminist. " — SirReadaLot. org
"Feminist politics is a choice. When men make that choice, our world is positively transformed. Prophetically, Gary Lemons speaks to the value of males assuming accountability for feminist cultural revolution—this is a book all men should read along with the rest of us. " — bell hooks
"Gary Lemons blurs the distinction between theory and practice and illuminates, as few have, how black feminist theorizing is important conceptually and pragmatically and how it is useful in one's everyday life. This is a groundbreaking and passionate book. " — Beverly Guy-Sheftall, coauthor of Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities
"Lemons memorably uses his own experience to engage timely issues, such as domestic violence, the education of African Americans, and the role of religious fundamentalism in black identity formation. I found the personal narratives riveting, and the author's courageous voice of love and protest unflinchingly exposes what others would rather keep hidden. " — Joseph Downing Thompson, Washington University in St. Louis