Magazine article Women & Environments International Magazine

Who Da Man: Black Masculinities and Sporting Cultures

Magazine article Women & Environments International Magazine

Who Da Man: Black Masculinities and Sporting Cultures

Article excerpt

WHO DA MAN: BLACK MASCULINITIES AND SPORTING CULTURES By Gamal Abdel-Shehid. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press Inc., 2005. CAD 24.95 paper (ISBN 1-55130-261-6), 198 pages.

Gamal Abdel-Shehid's Who Da Man: Black Masculinities and Sporting Cultures provides a cultural study of sport and critical sport sociology with a much-needed analysis of race, sexuality and sporting culture in Canada. Reading this book left me, as a critical sport sociologist, feeling unsettled. By disrupting any positions of comfort or innocence, Abdel-Shehid digs into deeply Canadian sporting practices and exposes the extent to which nationhood has strategically produced 'stable' black masculinities. He argues convincingly for the necessity of a black queer theory of sport.

Who Da Man begins with two chapters that explore a variety of theoretical and research paradigms which have affected black masculinities in sporting cultures. Here, Abdel-Shehid reads C.L.R James and Henry Edwards together in the hope of drafting a theory of black masculinity that is not static. Through this theorization, he provides a compelling and challenging feminist and queer critique of black sporting masculinities in Canada. The next three chapters analyze three sport-specific contexts from Canadian sporting culture, specifically Ben Johnson, the Toronto Raptors and black quarterbacking in the NFL and in Canada. He closes with a final chapter which looks closely at desire and pleasure, and interrupts the heteronormativity presumed to be implicit in black sporting cultures (and in sport more broadly). …

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