Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface: Waiting for Leroy

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pp. ix-x

The germ of the idea that became Looking for Leroy goes back nearly a decade. As initially conceived, many of the interventions that I attempt in this book were intended for a volume that also included many of the interventions I made in New Black Man (2005). Somewhere in late 2003...

Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

I can’t remember exactly when I first saw Leroy. It was likely sometime during that first season of the television series Fame, where the actor and dancer Gene Anthony Ray reprised the role of Leroy that he introduced in the original film version of...

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1. A Foot Deep in the Culture: The Thug Knowledge(s) of A Man Called Hawk

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pp. 13-34

In the fall of 1985 the television series Spenser for Hire debuted on based on a character featured in a series of novels authored by in the late 1970s series Vegas. At the height of the popularity of Parker’s Spenser novels in the late 1980s, much was made of how much Parker’s identity informed that of Spenser. As one writer ...

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2. “My Passport Says Shawn”: Toward a Hip-Hop Cosmopolitanism

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pp. 35-86

Can a nigga be cosmopolitan? Such a question might have been unthinkable two decades ago, even as hip-hop itself — the cultural phenomenon largely responsible for circulating the idea of the “nigga” as a trope of contemporary transnational blackness...

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3. The Block Is Hot: Legibility and Loci in The Wire

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pp. 87-116

Thirteen years after the thirteen episodes of A Man Called Hawk aired on ABC, The Wire debuted on the cable television network HBO. By then, HBO had established itself as the premier cable network, largely on the strength of groundbreaking hour-long...

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4. R. Kelly’s Closet: Shame, Desire, and the Confessions of a (Postmodern) Soul Man

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pp. 117-142

In 2008 the R&B singer Robert Sylvester Kelly was acquitted of over a dozen charges of child pornography. The case centered on a widely circulated and bootlegged video that purported to show Kelly performing sex acts with an underage black female...

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5. Fear of a Queer Soul Man: The Legacy of Luther Vandross

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pp. 143-168

Their names ring out like a chorus of singer’s singers — Johnny Mathis, Jimmy Scott, Eddie Kendricks, Al Green, Ronnie Dyson, Rahsaan Patterson, the fabulous Sylvester, and, perhaps most spectacularly, Luther Vandross. These men, whose wildly emotive...

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Postscript: Looking for Denzel, Finding Barack

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pp. 169-180

Throughout his career, Denzel Washington has been a paragon of a well-mannered, good-intentioned, and deftly committed “race man,” a term from the beginning of the twentieth century that describes black men of stature and integrity who represented...

Notes

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pp. 181-196

Index

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pp. 197-206

About the Author

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pp. 207-222