To Hood Or Not To Hood


The tragedy of the Trayvon Martin killing has generated more and more attention as the facts of the case come out. Amidst all the issues brought up by the case – racism, gun laws, stereotyping – the purported role of Martin’s attire, specifically his hoodie, has drawn special attention. The New Yorker has a slide show of drawings by R. Kikuo Johnson on the theme.

Cartoonist Jen Sorensen, of the cartoon Slowpoke, addresses ‘the apparel of peril’ in her most recent comic:

To delve into the subject of stereotypes of race and violence in the US, particularly in regard to black men, here are some titles to consider:

Black male : representations of masculinity in contemporary American art / Thelma Golden – NX652.A37 G65 1994


Black looks : race and representation / Bell Hooks – E185.86 .H734 1992 (currently on Reserve)


Seeing a color-blind future : the paradox of race / Patricia J. Williams – E185.615 .W493 1998


The envy of the world : on being a Black man in America / Ellis Cose. – E185.86 .C58829 2002

Playing the race card : melodramas of black and white from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson / Linda Williams – P94.5 .M552 U67 2001


Color-blind : seeing beyond race in a race-obsessed world / Ellis Cose – E185.615.C68 1997


Race-ing art history : critical readings in race and art history – N5303 .R27 2002

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