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The Making of a Man (and why we're so afraid to talk about it)

The Making of a Man (and why we're so afraid to talk about it)

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A POWERFUL MEMOIR AND MANIFESTO CHALLENGING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A BLACK MAN IN BRITAIN "A blisteringly honest take on contemporary Britishness that manages to be both nuanced and shocking. Highly recommended." Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish) You're a black man. Aggressive. Athletic. Feared. Fetishised. Policed. Politicised. It's limiting. It's tiring. And it's not true. What makes a man in the 21st century? For generations 'being a man' has meant behaving in a very particular way. It has meant being strong, sexually assertive and overtly heterosexual. Assumptions around masculinity have been the root cause of countless problems which, to this day, continue to affect the whole of society. When the question of masculinity intersects with race, these assumptions too often mutate into pernicious prejudice in ways that are particularly damaging for the men themselves. In this groundbreaking and revealing book, actor, activist and writer Obioma Ugoala - a man of mixed Nigerian and Irish heritage - examines the ways in which his life has been affected by people failing to address their own prejudices about what they conceive a Black man to be. As well as talking about these - often shocking - experiences he take a broader cultural and historical view to challenge notions of race and masculinity that have over centuries become embedded in British society, poisoning the public discourse and blighting people's lives. With unflinching honesty and deep humanity, this unique and important book challenges us all to face our personal failings while offering a vision of a more positive future if we dare to do better. When first published as The Problem with My Normal Penis the book met resistance from some who considered the title unnecessarily provocative. In this updated edition, Ugoala addresses the reception his book received and the light this shed on the very issues of race and masculinity that he was addressing. 'Whipsmart and refreshingly vulnerable. In this book, Obioma Ugoala brilliantly exposes the systems and the individuals that have long perpetuated dangerous and irresponsible ideals around Blackness and masculinity.' Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie "A valiant venture of a book that is somehow both tender memoir and unflinching excavation of the sociological blights that affect both self and society. Looking outward, inwards and forward, it lucidly explores complicated truths. Hopeful and honest, uncomfortable and encouraging, it is a book this country needs." Bolu Babalola, author of Love in Colour "An urgent, personal, compassionate book that never backs away from the difficulty of what we are facing but provides a forgiving mirror and a useable map so we can truly reflect & navigate. Obioma Ugoala's treatise should be a set text for a world in crisis." Deborah Frances White'In his enquiring memoir, he astutely explores where the expectations of his race and masculinity meet, unpicking and challenging his past experiences of prejudice. His personal stories are told in the context of the wider culture, and the book is a compassionate rallying cry to be more conscious.' Evening Standard




Author/s: Ugoala, Obioma

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