Monday, April 02, 2007

Not Required Reading | Mandingo

While my e725 students are out researching Frantz Fanon, and my undergraduates are reading film theory about Mandingo, Richard Fleischer's schlock race opera, Details Magazine emerges this week with a sordid tale of 21st-Century purveyors of the Mandingo aesthetic. Click on these images if you dare.


  1. Anonymous7:34 PM

    i read about half of the details article and after watching the movie Mandingo in class today it sparked some thoughts. First of all, it seems to me that "Jeff" is being racist because he feels that the black men that are having sex with his wife are no threat. He is saying that they are nothing compared to a white man and he has the power to give them permission to Pound his wifes brains out. I dont understand that at all. How can a man dislike a race and yet watch someone of that race just screw the crap out of your wife. "Jeff" says it gets him excited because he knows it gets his wife off. im sorry but that is way too effed up. Also it seems like Art Hammer and his crew who are educated then athletes dumb themselves down while playing their gigalo roles. They have Ivy league college degrees and they seem to be going into a Mandigo (the character in the movie) role by submissing to all of the Blanches (rich white women).
    Well now i finished reading the article and its funny how some of the men don't see these men as threats yet they admit that they can't satisfy their wives the way the Mandigos have. Its role reversal, the husbands feel like the slaves and the mandigos are the masters. Although with some husbands it seems like this realization angers them and so they attempt to bark orders while in the bedroom to keep their dignity or hold onto any kind of power that they may still have. These gigalos are all better looking and descriptively better hung than the husbands SO THEY ARE A THREAT AND ARE ON THE EQUAL PLAYING FIELD.
    Racism annoys me and what i didnt understand in the movies is how could Hammon or the other slave owners not see African Americans especially Mandigos as a threat? They were so much bigger they could kick the crap out of their owners, the only power that the slave owners had was their guns and weapons because if they were real powerful men they would to hand to hand combat. I'm positive that the mandigos would take them all.

  2. Anonymous9:02 AM

    What I found most interesting about this article is some of the Mandingo's optimistic attitudes in terms of interracial sex and a supposed breakdown of racial barriers. One Mandingo described "interracial orgies as a 'heightening experience,' proof that prejudice is on the wane." From my perspective, Mandingo parties are not acts of civil disobedience or a way to break down racial stereotypes as some of the Mandingo men believe. To me, it seems as though it is a way of reinforcing racial difference, prejudice, and stereotype. Take a look at some of the stereotypes surrounding black men: that they are subordinate to whites, sex-obsessed, well endowed....the list goes on and on. Based on some of the descriptions of the Mandingo parties in the article, it seems as though the Mandingo men are subjugating themselves to the hypersexualized ideal of the "black man." To me, the Mandingo parties is simply reinforcing the idea that black men are sexualized objects for the use of the white class. The fact that typical suburban white couples are seeking out these black Mandingos to satisfy their sexual fantasies reinforces the idea that interracial sexual relations is particularly exciting or taboo, which clearly doesn't reflect a breakdown in racial prejudice. Rather, it shows that racial prejudice and stereotypes are still found today. In all, I find it ironic that one of the Mandingos believes these interracial sex parties are proof of social change. To me, they show how some things haven't changed at all.

    Jackie Kolbeck
    English 493

  3. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Well of course I am going to have an adverse response to the publication of this article in Details--or is it so obvious that I should have a response? It seems to me that publishing this article in a mainstream FASHION magazine is problematic. The general purpose of a fashion magazine for either gender is to promote what is popular or the next fashionable item/trend. Is that what this magazine is trying to do with its article on Mandingos? I am sure the editors would not agree to that but it seems to me that the subliminal message is present. The article is presented in a way that I am sure the editors would argue is "fair and balanced" but I would argue ultimately promotes this behavior, and in turn the racism that is inherently involved. Why else would it be included in such a way that does not discredit this behavior? Sure Jeff is obviously racist, as are several other people who attend the party but overall there is an air of approval by the magazine. Are they promoting the exploitation of race? Surely, the magazine would say that they are merely reporting what is out there. Riiight - in a magazine obsessed with finding trends. There is obviously an underlying message to this article. Lets just hope that people don't get it.

    - Julie Nares

  4. Bridget O'Meara12:27 AM

    The way that these men justify whoring themselves out to old, kinky couples makes me a little sad.
    A woman on the corner is a woman on the corner, not a feminist activist. So why, when a black man is a prostitute, is he all of a sudden breaking down racial barriers?
    These interracial orgies seem to me to be counterproductive to the movement, not heightening it. When one thinks of a stereotypical prostitute, are they not usually from the ghetto which is full of minorities? When one hears the word "gangbang", doesn't a group of big, black men come to mind first? We should be fighting these stereotypes, not paying for them. But I guess, to each their own...No matter how degrading it seems, right?
    What is a shame though, is that these men were given the opportunity of a university education which many minorities will never have a chance to get. It's too bad that these strong, black men who are seemingly intelligent are making money off their dicks, and not their brains.
    Hammer has the nerve to call his mandingos gentlemen. A college education does not make one a gentleman, and Hammer's mandingos are of not exception.

  5. Sam Kovacevich11:33 PM

    After reading this article about “The Mandingos” my only question is what the hell are these people thinking???? Especially the black men involved, yes it’s true that they are “fucking white women,” but at the same time, excuse my French, they are also “fucking” themselves……..Allowing themselves to be subject to what to me actually looks and feels just like present day slavery, these black men are involved in this pathetic attempt to “network” (i.e. being used simply for sex) and are putting their fellow African Americans 200 years back in terms of racism, because they are allowing the rich white man to pre select which of them will be chosen, much like the opening scene of “Mandingo” has slave masters picking out their ideal slaves. If I had one word to describe what I’ve just read it would definitely be “disturbing.” Additionally, I’d like to meet this Jeff guy personally and ask him why he can’t just get his wife off instead of using a black man, especially when he’s obviously got a grudge towards dark skinned people and who’s to say that his wife won’t run off with one of these men, because they apparently satisfy her more than rich boy can. Where do you find this stuff Nericcio?????

    Sam K

  6. Anonymous7:23 PM

    Well I guess interracial sex is up on the fashion charts. It's funny how a fashion magazine published an article about interracial orgies. So many things to think about. A white man utilizing the power of the Black man to get something done that he can't (sounds familiar). To please their obviously sexual repressed spouses they meet up with some Mandingo dick to cool the situation, and transaction done! This is hardly slavery. It's more of a healthy sex life if you ask me and no one is forced against their will to do anything. Racial prejudice and hate are wrong. But there are still differences between the races. If a black man can pound your wife better than you can, she wants it, and you're chill with it......why not? It's nothing wrong or disgusting. Using the term Mandingo is something else entirely. If I were a black man I wouldn't want to - in any circumstances - be referred to by that name or the job description it carries.

    -Ken Hodges

  7. Anonymous1:16 PM

    What a surprise, more sexually repressed upper class white people with f'ed up fantasies...
    I think what pissed me off most about this situation is the husband who said he knows his wife likes to get banged by black guys, but would never date one. Herein lies the problem: White people, more specifically yuppie Americans, are perpetual unethical cultural appropriators. In this case what they want from black culture, is their sexuality, their "animal like" instincts in the bedroom (while their civilized husbands watch complacently). But it's always something: they steal whatever they want from which ever culture they choose, because they can, and with no regard to the culture itself. At one point it became fashionable to wear a bindi (thank you Gwen Stefani) so mid/upper mid class American girls ran around wearing their "third eye" usually without any knowledge or real interest in India and it's people. Belly dancing has become fashionable, so thousands American women run to their local dance studios to learn to be "seductive Arabian princesses", while their country is waging a war on the Middle East they know almost nothing about. I'm so sick of Americans thinking that it's ok, or even worse, that it makes them cultural "diverse" to steal parts of a culture, while ignoring , or even condemning the rest. In this article I mostly felt sorry for Jared, whose ideals lead him to believe that what these "Mandingos" are doing is breaking racial barriers. I think the opposite is happening: they are allowing a stereotype to live on, and allowing these sick yuppies to indulge their sexual fantasies, so they can have their cake and eat it to.

    Eng 493

  8. Anonymous8:06 PM

    After reading this article I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness that our country has still not moved from this sort of life style. Let alone the trampling on the sanctity of marriage but furthering the racism that has managed to live in this country for so long. To think that many of these African American men feel equality and gaps closing for racism due to this behavior is amazing. Can they not see that they are being exploited or more so exploiting themselves? The main problem I see with this article is the way our nation has become obsessed with sex regardless of being paid for it, being exploited, breaking the sanctity of marriage, or watching your wife have sex with another man. This problem is deeper than race; it is the morality of our country on the line.

  9. Many of you seem to be appalled by this article but I must say that I don't find it so.
    The mandingos are not doing this for money. This is an orgy where all members are intentionally involved. Sex is genuine and lacks pretense. To me, the fact that the white men allow this situation shows that they are, in spite of their obvious insecurities, honest and acceptant towards the reality of racial differenc. I think these interracial orgies are a natural occurance amidst the slow progression of racial equality.
    your thoughts?