In American classrooms, where black children are never granted the luxury of being thinkers, brainy dreamers and nerdy eccentrics, invulnerability becomes their default mode and safe space; protective armor from the criminalizing gaze of school police, administrators and teachers. Inundated with racist pop culture images of violent black masculinity and hyper-sexualized black femininity, black boys in particular often struggle to define manhood in ways that aren’t based on hardness and controlling black girls and women. Black male feminist allies like Kevin Powell, Byron Hurt and Mark Anthony Neal have long championed linking anti-violence work on sexual assault, intimate partner violence and misogynoir with civil rights and social justice activism. Powell calls for a progressive men’s movement to deprogram men and boys. Yet, making sexual violence relevant to young men of color is hampered by legacies of anti-feminist “gender warfare”, epitomized by scorched earth attacks against forerunning womanist/feminists like Alice Walker, Michele Wallace and bell hooks. As a result, it is a persistent challenge to connect young black men to this work in their schools, communities and everyday lives.