Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch

Essays On Race and Sexuality

251 pages

February, 2005

ISBN: 9780814756867



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Dwight A. McBride is Daniel Hale Williams Professor of African American Studies, English, & Performance Studies at Northwestern University where he also serves as Dean of The Graduate School and Associate Provost for Graduate Education. He is the author of several groundbreaking works in African American Studies, including Impossible Witnesses and Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch.

All books by Dwight McBride

Why hate Abercrombie? In a world rife with human cruelty and oppression, why waste your scorn on a popular clothing retailer? The rationale, Dwight A. McBride argues, lies in “the banality of evil,” or the quiet way discriminatory hiring practices and racist ad campaigns seep into and reflect malevolent undertones in American culture.

McBride maintains that issues of race and sexuality are often subtle and always messy, and his compelling new book does not offer simple answers. Instead, in a collection of essays about such diverse topics as biased marketing strategies, black gay media representations, the role of African American studies in higher education, gay personal ads, and pornography, he offers the evolving insights of one black gay male scholar.

As adept at analyzing affirmative action as dissecting Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, McBride employs a range of academic, journalistic, and autobiographical writing styles. Each chapter speaks a version of the truth about black gay male life, African American studies, and the black community. Original and astute, Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch is a powerful vision of a rapidly changing social landscape.


  • “Possibly the best title of the season.”

    Books to Watch out For

  • “A thrilling, imaginative, and brilliant reading of contemporary cultural politics from one of the freshest voices in the field today. Dwight McBride’s graceful prose, sharp wit, and sound judgments leap from every page. His essays sparkle with abundant intelligence—and a striking personal investment—as they lead the reader through a complex array of ideas, practices, and situations without losing sight of the ultimate intellectual and political liberation at which they aim. Bravo!”=”

    —Michael Eric Dyson, author of The Michael Eric Dyson Reader

  • “A fair warning from an intelligent, well-informed writer.”

    Alter Magazine

  • “McBride has emerged as one of the most eloquent public voices in both queer studies and black studies. In this wide-ranging book—written with intelligence, passion, and humor—he brings the insights of each field to the blind spots of the other. We all have something to learn from him.”

    —Michael Warner, Rutgers University

  • “McBride’s heady collection is an accessible think piece, starting with its agreeable title and its pointed essay of the same name.”

    Time Out New York