My thesis examines perceptions of power in relation to white and black masculinity in the United States. The introduction invokes the work of Mireille Miller-Young, Hortense Spillers, Vincent Woodard and Hiram Pérez as a foundation to ground my discussion of agency, consumption, desire, homoeroticism and the characteristics of the Mandingo, which occur in both articles. In my first article, “Who’s Hungry: Consumption in James Baldwin’s ‘Going to Meet the Man'" I argue that "Going to Meet the Man" serves as a case study for exploring how black masculinity has the agency to consume its white counterpart. Drawing on Spillers' theory of pornotroping and Vincent Woodard's understanding of consumption, my article argues that Baldwin’s short story encourages readers to recognize that black men can and do have the ability to at once be othered and affective in a way that impacts everything white masculinity touches.
My second article, "Power and Pleasure: Mandingo Agency in Cuckolding and
Cuckolding Pornography" continues to interrogate black masculine agency by analyzing
cuckolding and amateur cuckolding pornography. I examine an amateur cuckolding video that was uploaded to a popular pornography website, which offers a narrative that illustrates the power dynamics between white and black men. Furthermore, I suggest that although hegemonic narratives lead us to read these sexual encounters as strengthening white masculinity, by inhabiting precisely what white masculinity desires and can never achieve, black masculinity is disrupting this hegemonic system. My hope is that the work that has been done in this project will serve as another framework that can be used to identify the ways in which white supremacy and sexual politics interact and systemically impact the U.S.