Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Hung Out: A flaccid look at Black men's dick issues
MY TAKE ON...Hung: A meditation on the measure of Black Men in America
by Scott Poulson-Bryant
You have to give it up for the brother for attempting to tackle the briar patch of issues that is Black male sexuality, but this slim volume reveals, not an author intent on really shedding light on his subject, but rather, an adolescent obsessed with stroking his, I assume, well endowed ego by writing, what amounts to, a spiritual biography of his own dick. It’s a long trek from the first 11 Black male slaves in New Amsterdam and the importation of the first Black slave women, who were expressly imported as sexual partners, wives and breeders, and the complexity of their experience and the 80 plus generations of Africans since then who have loved, sexed, fucked and been bred in the United States, to the banal and juvenile musings and obsessions with dick size and wankery touted in this book as a "meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America.” But, I'm afraid it's a chasm that cannot be forded by Scott. (See my September 18, 2005 post The Measure of a Man.)
It's really too bad that brother Poulson-Bryant (a combo name I imagine he calls his own because his empowered proto-feminist Black mother deemed it necesary to call attention to her participation in the sexual equation - a courtesy brother Paulson-Bryant does not extend to the sistahs, whose sexual experiences in American culture and history barely show up in this book) does no service to advancing a serious sense of Black cock with the kind of trite bio-pic fluff that occupies too many of these pages. However, I suspect, this titilating little nugget will find some eager readers in the DL community.
If you’re going to deal with the topics of Black masculinities, balls and all, you'd better be ready to throw down a tome. Brother Poulson-Bryant doesn’t even deem it necessary to give us a bibliography. I mean: even a memoir has sources, inspiration, and references. So, while I admit, it’s nice to see someone attempting to address issues of sexual identity and Black men, something a little more substantial would have been appreciated. Maybe he’ll grow into it on the next book. What irked me most on first reading, was that he'll blithely throw out a half-page of interesting questions about African American male sexuality and identity and then never answer them, but sentences later, prowl back, strutting the whole time, into a kind of trance of semi-lurid confession about men who are worried, obsessed, organized around and consumed by a narcissistic obsession with their own dick sizes. In the end, this is a book that, like unsatisfying sex, begs the question, "So fucking what?" What's sad, is that we live in a time, when body-image issues are really beginning to afflict men in serious ways (as they have women for eons) and black men in particular, and one would have hoped that Brother Poulson-Bryant might have, duhh, utilized some of his, duhh, much touted Ivy-League education, for a more voluminous look at the issues, history, psychology and perhaps transcendence of the stereotypes Black men’s sexuality has been assigned and subjected to over our long history.