“Men Doing Life Together”: Black Christian Fraternity Men’s Embodiments of Brotherhood

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Black people in the United States have and continue to pursue practices of communal bonding as well as cooperative-and-sharing economies, from the invisible institution of Black religion to underground activist collectives such as the African Blood Brotherhood. While many efforts were explicitly political, other organizations primarily emphasized socioeconomic advancement for its group members and the broader Black community. One such set of collectives that in many ways embodied both aims are Black Greek-letter Organizations. One of their enduring legacies is the ability to produce a unique and powerful sense of sisterhood and brotherhood. Through various processes, shared symbols, and cultural artifacts, Black fraternal organizations create a sense of camaraderie readily apparent to even lay observers. Yet, very few empirical studies have examined how fraternity men define and embody such brotherhood bonds. Thus, the purpose of the present study sought to fill these knowledge gaps by addressing the following research questions: (1) how do Black Christian fraternity men define and embody brotherhood? and (2) what social and emotional benefits do Black Christian fraternity men gain from brotherhood? Using qualitative data gathered through various techniques (i.e., semistructured interviews, photovoice and identity maps, focus groups, and Facebook observations), we describe the ways Black male members of this Christian fraternity embody brotherhood as accountability and co-construct a space for men to experience and benefit from intimacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMen and Masculinities
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • education
  • friendship
  • hegemonic masculinity
  • race
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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