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December 19, 2008

Obama Vs. 50 Cent, What is Black Manhood? (video)

I first read this post on William Harryman’s site The Masculine Heart.

In this powerful youtube video “Barak & Curtis, Examining Black Masculinity,” director Byron Hurt explores Manhood in the Black Community comparing two Iconic figures Barak Obama and rapper 50 Cent.

To me this 9 minute video is loaded with juicy observations about where black men are today. The short film is an important contrast within the black culture between two very different messages regarding Manhood.

On the outside, I have passed judgment toward 50 Cent and his version of Manhood. But understood in the context of his upbringing and how he “survived” great odds to become the man that he is, he takes on a different meaning for me, particularly for many black men.

It is clear that both Men have a huge following and both represent seemingly opposing views about being a Man. However, the video also reminds us that both men succeeded in the face of tremendous opposition.

Another poiniant moment in the film is when Matt Birkhold makes a comparison between “black thug masculinity” (50 Cent) and “successful white masculinity” (George Bush in Office). Interesting to say the least.

Check the video out and weigh in, what do you think?

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