The Rose is the tale told and propagated by North American mainstream media to help produce the image of the “marketable” Black male. It encourages society to subscribe to a conglomeration of cultural, class and gender norms which are crucial to the reproduction of the complex oppressions that entrench and normalise white supremacy. It does so in social institutions such as the mass media and the school, through nationalistic pride and sensibilities, and at serious, but generally unrecognised, social and emotional cost. My investigation of these issues, in the support of my thesis, is organised around four major questions: What lessons in “success” do Black males receive most frequently from their schooling? In what ways does nationality, specifically Canadianness, determine “marketability”? What are the interpersonal, psychological and spiritual costs of being a “Rose”? And, how do we move beyond the rose and toward concepts of masculinity that are more constructive? Though the barriers and obstacles are many, and sometimes surprising, these interrogations permit for the healing and protection of ourselves and others, and so are vital to our nourishing of the unborn and offer direction to young black men on the path to being, and becoming, their fullest selves.
marketability; black masculinity; social institutions; Canadianness; psychological health