"Mark Anthony Neal is one of our most consistently interesting and inspiring critics of contemporary black popular culture and music, to which Looking for Leroy is brilliant testament. It showcases Neal’s masterful ability to take iconic figures of black masculinity, from Avery Brooks’s neo-cool Hawk to Shawn Carter’s neo-queer Jay-Z, and show them to us in an entirely new light. This is an incredibly powerful little book, and readers will never look at R. Kelly or Luther Vandross the same way again."
—John L. Jackson, Jr., author of Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness
"Mark Anthony Neal takes us on a fantastic journey searching for the meaning of black masculinity in the USA. As we join him in Looking for Leroy, we find queer and feminist answers to questions about legibility and illegibility, visibility and invisibility, violation and vulnerability. No one writes with more passion, power and speculative brilliance about black masculinity than Neal and no one but Neal would manage to produce a theory of black masculinity capable of explaining the smoothness of Luther Vandross, the cosmopolitan genius of Jay-Z, the enigma of Leroy from Fame, and the sheer brute force of Snoop from The Wire. Genius."
—Jack Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity (1998) and Gaga Feminism (2012)
"This is an important new book for gay and straight alike."
—Windy City Times
"Neal's critique of black masculinity in the U.S. confronts the enormous pressure placed on black males by society's assumptions. Through a pop-culture lens, he shows how the perpetuation of racial stereotypes continues to neutralize the potential of black men and boys."
"Whiteness and White privilege, Jay Z's entrance into the Pace Gallery recalls a scene nearly 30 years earlier, when three young Black men, clad in black leather jackets and black brims walked into another art space and were told, 'You guys don't belong here.' Just as Run DMC was breaking down commercial barriers—MTV then as resistant to Black bodies as any high-end art gallery—Jean-Michael Basquiat was breaking down barriers in the art world. Although Picasso is the signifier that brings every one together—and to our worst fears about Picasso and appropriating, dare I say colonizing, space—it is Basquiat who clearly haunts this space."
—Mark Anthony Neal, Art Papers
"Leroy mines the contradiction between epistemologies and realness of self-making in relation to black men in popular culture. Neal has crafted an accessible text that creatively renders our understanding of black men as alien, offering complex connections between spatiality, cosmopolitanism, sound, and desire."
—Jared Richardson, The Black Scholar
"Looking for Leroy is a fascinating study of Black masculinity."
—Abdul Ali , The Crisis Magazine
“Looking for Leroy is very much an act of self-exploration; the men examined offer different variations of the type of black man Neal sees himself to be….This introspection adds to rather than detracts from an intriguing and thought-provoking addition to the growing research on black masculinity in the post-segregationist era—one that blurs the line and closes the gap between heteronormative scholarship and queer studies.”
"Looking for Leroy challenges readers to view black masculinity outside the scope in which it is imagined...Neal achieves his goal of radically rescripting accepted notions of a heteronormative black masculinity."
“Looking for Leroy continues Mark Anthony Neal’s work of offering a nuanced, critical understanding of African American culture, in particular the ways African American culture constructs masculinity…”
—Journal of American Studies of Turkey
New York University Press is proud to make many of our titles available in eBook editions. Below is the list of vendors that carry our titles in electronic format. Each vendor has its own pricing and delivery policies. Please follow the links below for more information.
Please list your name, institutional affiliation, course name and size, and institution address. NYU Press will cancel exam copy orders if information cannot be verified.