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2014 Photoshoot examines contrary social representations of the black male body


You write that the black male body is “the most hated body in popular American culture and/or society.” Could you elaborate on the roots and consequences of this prejudice?
“Pathology is something that many people feel is too over-talked to discuss—there is so much stigma around it (even in 2014!), but pathology is real because it is what many people navigate the world through. I think an excellent example comes from bell hooks’s essay “Eating The Other.” She talks about the pathology of the black male body and its relationship to primitiveness, slavery, labor and pain. She also links pathology to commercialism and how blackness is fetishized and hyper-eroticized in mainstream media. This creates a false idea of otherness; of black bodies being hypersexual, hyperviolent and hyperaggressive (she links hypersexuality to violence and primitiveness). There are many layers, and pathology’s relationship to athleticism and sports culture is a fascinating one.

“As far as consequences go, there are too many. I think the reaction to Ferguson is a very, very clear example. Black men are exterminated all around this world. Women, as well, of all backgrounds, classes and ethnic groups are victimized because of binary power dynamics. Representation is very important and can have much personal and political resonance.”

Source: Feature Shoot

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  1. Truly incredible interview. I love the focus on revealing the humanity, plain and simple. Edmonds is quite eloquent and thoughtful in the responses, which brings a whole new level of respect and credibility for the project, the craft and the people.

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