Deconstructing Tyrone by Natalie Hopkinson
A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation

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Two smart Black women break the Tyrone code — with affection, with respect, but with no illusions.
Black men as fathers, sons, teachers, lovers, rap stars, professionals, fantasy objects, and cultural constructs — a multifaceted picture of American Black men today.
You know Tyrone. Smooth-talking, irresistible Tyrone — the swagger in his step, the sexy drawl, the poetry and rhythm in his essence — the militant revolutionary of the 1960s evolved into the pimp/thug of the hip-hop era. Tyrone is the Black man seen through the media lens, through stereotype, through the eyes of Black women. He’s "Talk Show Tyrone," all muscle and defiance, “an archetype converted to a hit single.”
In Deconstructing Tyrone, the authors, journalists Natalie Y. Moore and Natalie Hopkinson, examine Black masculinity from a variety of perspectives, looking not for consensus but for insight. With chapters on Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, on the complicated relationship between women and hip-hop, on babydaddies, on gay Black men on and off the down low, on strippers and their fathers, on Black men in the office, at school, and in jail, Deconstructing Tyrone presents a multifaceted picture of American Black men now.

About Natalie Hopkinson

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Natalie Y. Moore is a freelance writer who has worked for The Detroit News and The St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia College in Chicago. Her work has appeared in Bitch Magazine, Black Enterprise, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Seattle Times, Detroit Metro-Times, Detroit News,,, and The Oregonian. She has a bachelor's from from Howard University and a master's from Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago.Natalie Hopkinson is a staff writer for The Washington Post. She is a Scripps Howard doctoral fellow in media studies at the University of Maryland-College Park, where she is also a visiting professor of journalism. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Palm Beach Post, Washington City Paper and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A graduate of Howard University, she lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two children.
Published September 25, 2006 by Cleis Press. 264 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Deconstructing Tyrone

Publishers Weekly

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In this series of 11 essays, journalists Hopkinson and Moore probe black male archetypes of the hip-hop generation, but the Howard University grads' superficial application of Jacques Derrida's "deconstruction theory" limits the impact of their effort.

Nov 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Deconstructing Tyrone: A New ...


With chapters on black men in politics (Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick), on the relationship between the misogynist hip-hop culture and women, on how gay men fit into the black masculinity picture, on babydaddies, on gay black men on the “down low,” and black men in the office, at school, and in ...

Jun 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Deconstructing Tyrone: A New ...

Hooded Utilitarian

But there is no discussion of homophobia in the black community, nor of how important the closet has been , in one way and another to black cultural expression (gospel music wouldn’t be the same without it, as just one example.) Similarly, the book takes several offhand jabs at feminism — but t...

Nov 27 2007 | Read Full Review of Deconstructing Tyrone: A New ...

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