Law Professor Frank Rudy Cooper writes in the New York Times about how he welcomed his son to the world with an acute awareness that “the intersection of race with gender presents special challenges to young men of color.”
In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin verdict, President Barack Obama called for a national conversation about “doing a better job helping young African American men feel that they're a full part of this society and that they've got pathways and avenues to succeed.”
Cooper’s article suggests that this initiative expand to include consideration of gender.
“If the president’s initiative can recognize how race and gender work together, it might be better able to address the 'cool vs. school' dilemma. A boy of color who focuses on academic success – rather than just a narrow band of 'cool' pursuits like sports, music and girls – tends to have his racial credentials challenged,” writes Cooper in “Many Ways to Be Manly.”