Traps Cover


African American Men on Gender and Sexuality

By Rudolph P. Byrd (Editor); Beverly Guy-Sheftall (Editor); Beverly Guy Sheftall (Editor)

Indiana University Press, Hardcover, 9780253339010, 400pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2001


"This is a valuable project. The editors are excellent, well-known scholars, and activists in the academy." Darlene Clark Hine

"After looking carefully at Traps selections, I have to confess that I m both excited and satisfied by what Rudolph Byrd and Beverly Guy-Sheftall have assembled here from the 19th century to the present. Educators genuinely need a text like this for opening their classroom to critical discussions on the well-worn subjects of race and gender."
Charles Johnson

Traps is the first anthology of writings by 19th- and 20th-century African American men on the overlapping categories of race, gender, and sexuality. The selections on gender in Sections I and II reveal what some may view as the unexpected commitment of African American men to feminism. Included here are critiques of the subordinate social, economic, and political position of black women. Sections III and IV analyze the taboos and myths in which black sexuality is enmeshed. These essays also stress the importance of rejecting homophobia and the need to contest the predominance of a heterosexual paradigm. Monolithic constructions of gender and sexuality, reinforced by sexism and historically sanctioned homophobia, are the "traps" that give this book its focus and its title."

About the Author
Rudolph P. Byrd (1953-2011) was Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the Program of African American Studies at Emory University. He is author of Jean Toomer's Years with Gurdjieff and editor of I Call Myself an Artist: Writings by and about Charles Johnson.Beverly Guy-Sheftall is founding director of the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spelman College and the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies. Her previous publications include Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought and Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes Toward Black Women, 1880-1920.