1961, Los Angeles, Southern California
The artist on covering many types of Black masculinity
MARK BRADFORD: I feel like Black male masculinity, especially in the last 10 or 15 or 20 years, has been so narrow based on, kind of, popular culture. Popular culture has determined that black males, we exist in about two or three different models: the sports figure, the gangster figure, or the reverend — and the reverend can be the politician. And there are times when it angers me.
I get sort of frustrated by this. And not that it’s not that there’s a plurality that doesn’t exist, it’s just that the plurality doesn’t make prime time. It’s not sexy enough, I suppose. Sort of saying that there’s another, that I’m tracking you — sort of another identity is tracking you. Just like on the basketball court, that [you’re] sort of covering your man, and so that’s me covering another type of masculinity.
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