This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Stylin' Black Power: Fashion, Dignity, and Masculinity




Carter, Mickell

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis



Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



This study examines Black men’s style during the shifting political terrain of the Black Power Movement in the1960s and 1970s. Through a stylistic analysis of images, film, musical albums, and advertisements, I question how modes of dress and adornment influenced Black Power and masculinity. In part, I argue Black men’s attire during the Black Power era became political symbols and material bodily expressions of resistance, Pan-Africanism, Black pride, and Black masculinity. Further, I demonstrate that Black men’s modes of dress during the movement shaped beauty culture worldwide and acted as a vehicle for protest against white supremacy and Eurocentricity. By combining gender and cultural analyses, I identify how ideologies during the Black Power Movement shaped Black masculine expression via hairstyles and fashion. In doing so, I offer new interpretations of mid-twentieth century Black masculinity in the context of the social movements of the sixties and seventies.