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date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines how the street has become a point of reference in scholarly and public discussions of the behavior of low-income African American men living in urban communities. It begins with a discussion of how the street has attained such an overriding centrality in the cultural analyses of low-income, urban-based African American men in public space, especially in the formation of images and understandings about them. It then considers how and why African American men have come to be viewed as a frighteningly disturbing presence on the street because of the social power they are assumed to have in affecting the actions and lives of others who make use of the streets. It also looks at various frameworks for the cultural analysis of African American men and concludes by arguing that the street has been both overdetermined and incompletely theorized in terms of its significance for cultural analysis.

Keywords: Street, African American men, urban communities, public space, social power, cultural analysis

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