A Pledge of Faithfulness: How Black Christian Fraternity Men Embody Race, Gender and Religious Identities

Keon M. McGuire, Joseph D. Sweet, Kenzalia Bryant-Scott, Terrence S. McTier, Emeka Ikegwuonu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Though much has been written about the benefits that Black sororities and fraternities offer its members as well as broader communities within and beyond the ivory towers, comparatively fewer studies have addressed how these organizations interact with men's constructions and embodiments of masculinities. Moreover, even fewer studies examine the intersections of masculinities, race, and religion. As such, this paper examines how members of one Black Christian fraternity construct their manhood amid these intersections. To do this, we conduct an interpretative phenomenological analysis based on interviews, a photovoice exercise, and field notes taken during a fraternity retreat to examine how members of this fraternity negotiate race-gender-religion as they navigate both college life and emerging adulthood. Our analysis reveals that the men embody Black Christian masculinities as responsibility, assuming leadership roles, and actively working against stereotypes and tropes of Black Christian manhood. Ultimately, we argue that colleges and universities should be cognizant of the ways that Black Christian fraternity men experience and respond to gendered racism and that educators themselves be aware of the subtle ways (cisgender heterosexual) Black manhood can sometimes reinforce heteropatriarchy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-274
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 23 2020


  • Religion
  • college student identity
  • fraternities
  • masculinities
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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