“I See Death Around the Corner”: Black Manhood and Vulnerability in Me Against the World

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This essay uses Tupac Shakur’s Me Against the World as a case study examining how Black male artists use hip-hop music for articulating the racialized vulnerability organizing their manhood. By thinking about how Shakur understands his Black maleness through his social relationality to the world around him, Shakur’s album creates resistive space for defining Black maleness despite how Black masculinity is often defined and imposed on Black men. Shakur’s album maps a relational network for understanding a brand of Black manhood obscured by dominant discourses about Black men and their masculinity. Specifically, Shakur’s album frames Black maleness through poverty and how it orients Black men, his perpetual susceptibility to harm and death, and suicide ideation as a response to his despair. Connecting Black maleness and vulnerability, Shakur’s album offers insight about being Black and male in a patriarchal White supremacist society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-650
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Black Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Black manhood
  • hip-hop
  • music
  • race
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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