Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
Social scientists will most likely categorize writer Kiese Laymon's collection of essays as a literary intervention into masculinity studies in our current era: marked by the (seeming) paradox of black presidency and celebrity on the one hand, and the entrenchment of police power over black boys and men on the other. Scholars of history and literature might situate Laymon in political and literary traditions stretching from tum-of-the-twentieth century "race men" to the work of feminists of color in our time, noting his acknowledgements to Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison (12).1 With its Mississippi setting and sensibility, American Studies scholars will likely soon cite it, particularly the essay "Hip-Hop Stole My Southern Black Boy," as an example of the "New Southern Studies," which places the Black South and regional identity at the center of an analysis of national economic, political, creative, and intellectual narratives.2 How to Slowly Kill Yourselves and Others in America will surely teach brilliantly in classrooms in all of these fields.
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