In the 1970’s epidemiologist, Sherman James coined the term “John Henry– ism” to describe the stress and adverse health outcomes experienced by Black people due to racial oppression. James believes that black people engage in “high effort coping strategies” as a response to racial oppression. These high effort coping strategies even though they may be successful may adversely impact health and wellness.
Through a philosophical lens the of poetic, which White defines as “any attempt at the unified treatment of emotion, logic, language and thought against the backdrop of oppression,” White will speak to the necessary poetic force that must undergird any black speculative vision and practice of masculinity and manhood outside of the space of rejection, rebellion, and aggression that often results in Black men dying with their “hammer in hand.”
John Gavin White is a poet and essayist whose writings combine philosophy, narrative, lyric, and metaphor to explore the historical erasure of black male vulnerability against the backdrop of oppression.
Since 2017 PRG has been providing a dedicated residency program for artists and writers, with allocated workspace for creatives, and opportunities to engage with the public through programs and exhibitions.