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date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

What is the lived experience of the black male body within the context of white America in the twenty-first century? How can we describe the deep existential and psychic dimensions of black male bodies as they negotiate their lives within the context of white hegemony? How do their bodies continue to be truncated according to a distorted and racist imago in the white imaginary? The black male body, within the context of this white imaginary, constitutes a site of “contamination.” As such, then, within the white body politic, black male bodies are thereby always already targets of the state, deemed “criminals,” “monsters,” and “thugs.” Textual testimony, coupled with social, political, and existential phenomenological analyses, demonstrates the sheer gravity of being black and male in a mythical postrace America.

Keywords: black body, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, trauma, whiteness

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