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What Does Kwame Brown mean to African American Masculinity?



Kwame Brown

Kwame Hasani Brown is an African American former professional basketball player. Brown spent 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Brown was the first No. 1 overall pick to be chosen straight out of high school. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats, Golden State Warriors, and Philadelphia 76ers. Analysts labeled him as one of the “biggest busts” in NBA history. Brown was the butt of a 20-year joke.

Although Brown joined youtube quietly in 2013, the descendant of enslaved geechie people went viral most notably for defending himself from radio show hosts of The Breakfast Club. The Breakfast Club is an American syndicated radio show based in New York City hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne tha God.

Brown fired back unapologetically and without filtered responses. The father of three girls demanded respect and called out Charlamagne on an egregious offense seemingly forgotten by his adoring fandom. A sexual assault case where a minor was allegedly drugged and raped by Charlamagne Tha God.

Brown ends up speaking fiercely about the Hollywood powers that be protecting Charlamagne. he addresses the media as a “go along to get along gang” where they cover the felonies and faults of one another thus facilitating corruption. Charlamagne extended an apology to Brown, which Brown famously rejected.

Brown has been touted as the mantle of African American manhood for his approach and self-carriage. He has inspired buck-broken African American men to reclaim their masculinity. Assertive Black men have been used as target practice by government agencies for so long that many have decided to be less than this in an effort toward self-preservation. In the history of American Lynching documented by Ida B. Wells, it is clear that degenerate African Americans were hardly targeted. It was the “uppity negro” who owned property; who having sound self-esteem deemed themselves as equal to or better than white Americans that met their fate as “strange fruit“. They were seen as not knowing their natural place beneath the white man and therefore so problematic that they were publicly executed. The African American community collectively altered their culture, shifting into being more palatable for white American tastes historically. The personhood of Kwame Brown is changing that for men who were once too afraid to assert themselves outside of the Black community.

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