In his new book, part memoir and part stream-of-consciousness poetry, Frederick Joseph reflects on the state of masculinity of Black men in contemporary America. Drawing from deep personal experiences, Joseph’s work tackles issues of toxic masculinity, transphobia, violence, and internet culture. Joseph calls out his heroes for their shortcomings (“The Blood Of Forty-Four”) and often puts the lens on his own anxiety and pursuit of perfection (“The Rot in The Garden”).— Josúe
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"[A] scorching treatise on toxic masculinity. Joseph’s critiques of “the patriarchy... both overt and ingrained” are razor-sharp, but it’s the clear-eyed reckoning of his own place within it that tethers the soul of his book." —Publishers Weekly
"Joseph has learned a great deal from bell hooks here, and I think she would be proud because Patriarchy Blues is such a moving, inspiring, rigorous vision for living.” —Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of The Prophets
In this personal and poignant collection, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Black Friend examines the culture of masculinity through the lens of a Black man.
What does it mean to be a man today? How does the pervasive yet elusive idea of “toxic masculinity” actually reflect men’s experiences—particularly those of color—and how they navigate the world?
In this thought-provoking collection of essays, poems, and short reflections, Frederick Joseph contemplates these questions and more as he explores issues of masculinity and patriarchy from both a personal and cultural standpoint. From fatherhood, and “manning up” to abuse and therapy, he fearlessly and thoughtfully tackles the complex realities of men’s lives today and their significance for society, lending his insights as a Black man.
Written in Joseph’s unique voice, with an intelligence and raw honesty that demonstrates both his vulnerability and compassion, Patriarchy Blues forces us to consider the joys, pains, and destructive nature of manhood and the stereotypes it engenders.
Frederick Joseph is the New York Times bestselling author of The Black Friend and an award-winning marketing professional, activist, and educator. He was recently featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. He lives in Long Island City, New York.
“[A] scorching treatise on toxic masculinity. Joseph’s critiques of “the patriarchy... both overt and ingrained” are razor-sharp, but it’s the clear-eyed reckoning of his own place within it that tethers the soul of his book…This potent work makes a systemic issue immensely personal.” — Publishers Weekly
“In Patriarchy's Blues: Reflections on Manhood, Frederick Joseph deftly peels away the layers of innocence we all attempt to cling to when confronted with our own complicity in harmful paradigms, providing a blueprint for how we might be able to reclaim ourselves by replacing the horrors of domination with projects of radical compassion, empathy, vulnerability, and self-inventory--which is to say, finally become human. Joseph has learned a great deal from bell hooks here, and I think she would be proud because Patriarchy Blues is such a moving, inspiring, rigorous vision for living.” — Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of The Prophets.
“Patriarchy Blues is an incisive, provocative, and challenging call to action. Through his own turbulent and tender life story, Frederick T. Joseph shows us what patriarchy costs all of us and precisely what’s at stake if we don’t dismantle it. This book is pure fire, the forging kind, the healing kind.” — Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
“Frederick’s perspective is poignant and necessary and the questions he poses about intersecting identities are stunningly urgent. In a world filled with despair, this book gives me hope.” — Liz Plank, author of For The Love of Men: From Toxic to Mindful Masculinity
"Joseph covers a great deal of ground, taking on rape culture, White privilege, victim blaming, the rights of sex workers, and the fact that “the Black American experience is not monolithic,” always returning to the intersectionality that governs how people are defined and, too often, oppressed… A well-reasoned, wide-ranging plea for a new conception of personhood and justice.” — Kirkus