Past Event

Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities

Mark Anthony Neal’s Looking for Leroy is an engaging and provocative analysis of the complex ways in which black masculinity has been read and misread through contemporary American popular culture. In examining figures such as hip-hop entrepreneur and artist Jay-Z, R&B Svengali R. Kelly, the late vocalist Luther Vandross, and characters from the hit HBO series The Wire, among others, Neal demonstrates how distinct representations of black masculinity can break the links in the public imagination that create antagonism toward black men. Moderated by Barbara Ransby, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, African American Studies & History.

Books will be available for purchase.

Mark Anthony Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University, where he won the 2010 Robert B. Cox Award for Teaching. Neal has written and lectured extensively on black popular culture, black masculinity, sexism and homophobia in Black communities, the history of popular music, and Black digital humanities. He is the author of five books, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003), New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005) and Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities, which will be published in April of 2013 by New York University Press. Neal is also the co-editor (with Murray Forman) of That’s the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader, 2nd Edition (2011). Neal hosts the weekly video webcast, Left of Black in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University and is the founder and managing editor of the blog NewBlackMan (in Exile). You can follow him on Twitter @NewBlackMan.
Co-sponsored by The Public Square, Young Chicago Authors, UIC School of Art and Art History, Social Justice Initiative, IRRPP and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.



Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580.

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit