The '4:44' Syllabus For Black Men Is Here

Based on Jay-Z's groundbreaking album, the syllabus features readings on themes like masculinity and mental health.

A new syllabus based entirely around Jay-Z’s album “4:44” now exists, and it’s encouraging black men to explore everything from fatherhood and mental health to gender fluidity and black wealth. 

The online syllabus launched on Aug. 27, and contains readings and resources from around the internet to help unpack the major themes explored by Jay-Z on the album. According to ESSENCE, the document was created by Anthony Boynton, Anthony J. Williams, Daniel Johnson, and Henry Washington Jr. in collaboration with 16 other people. 

The syllabus has been created by and for black men and masculine nonbinary people, according to co-creator Anthony Boynton in its description. Boynton writes that the syllabus was “inspired by the labor of Black women” and “the emotional vulnerability” of Jay-Z’s album, which features thought-provoking songs including “The Story of O.J.” and “Moonlight.” 

This project is similar in style to Candice Benbow’s “Lemonade” syllabus launched in 2016, which provides resources exploring the theme of Beyonce’s last album. 

Download the entire “4:44” syllabus here