Randy Wagstaff and Black Masculinity:
“You got my back, huh?”
Pri Surapaneni
From "Alliances" 4.05 The Wire
hroughout all five seasons of The Wire, the
writers provide valuable insight into the psyche
of the inner-city black male. Through
hierarchies within “The Game,” viewers see the
average male’s struggle to prove strength and
dominance over his peers. Season Four offers a fresh
perspective on the foundations of this masculinity
through the bildungsroman plotline of Randy Wagstaff,
a young boy who finds himself surrounded, almost
suffocated, by the drug trade that rules over his
neighborhood. Furthermore, his accidental “snitch” to
the Baltimore police runs counter to the tropes of
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