counter create hit Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture

Availability: Ready to download

White kids from the 'burbs are throwing up gang signs. The 2001 Grammy winner for best rap artist was as white as rice. And blond-haired sorority sisters are sporting FUBU gear. What is going on in American culture that's giving our nation a racial-identity crisis? Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer's controversial essay "The White Negro," Everything but the Bu White kids from the 'burbs are throwing up gang signs. The 2001 Grammy winner for best rap artist was as white as rice. And blond-haired sorority sisters are sporting FUBU gear. What is going on in American culture that's giving our nation a racial-identity crisis? Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer's controversial essay "The White Negro," Everything but the Burden brings together voices from music, popular culture, the literary world, and the media speaking about how from Brooklyn to the Badlands white people are co-opting black styles of music, dance, dress, and slang. In this collection, the essayists examine how whites seem to be taking on, as editor Greg Tate's mother used to tell him, "everything but the burden"-from fetishizing black athletes to spinning the ghetto lifestyle into a glamorous commodity. Is this a way of shaking off the fear of the unknown? A flattering indicator of appreciation? Or is it a more complicated cultural exchange? The pieces in Everything but the Burden explore the line between hero-worship and paternalism. Among the book's twelve essays are Vernon Reid's "Steely Dan Understood as the Apotheosis of 'The White Negro, '" Carl Hancock Rux's "The Beats: America's First 'Wiggas, '" and Greg Tate's own introductory essay "Nigs 'R Us." Other contributors include: Hilton Als, Beth Coleman, Tony Green, Robin Kelley, Arthur Jafa, Gary Dauphin, Michaela Angela Davis, dream hampton, and Manthia diAwara.


Compare
Ads Banner

White kids from the 'burbs are throwing up gang signs. The 2001 Grammy winner for best rap artist was as white as rice. And blond-haired sorority sisters are sporting FUBU gear. What is going on in American culture that's giving our nation a racial-identity crisis? Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer's controversial essay "The White Negro," Everything but the Bu White kids from the 'burbs are throwing up gang signs. The 2001 Grammy winner for best rap artist was as white as rice. And blond-haired sorority sisters are sporting FUBU gear. What is going on in American culture that's giving our nation a racial-identity crisis? Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer's controversial essay "The White Negro," Everything but the Burden brings together voices from music, popular culture, the literary world, and the media speaking about how from Brooklyn to the Badlands white people are co-opting black styles of music, dance, dress, and slang. In this collection, the essayists examine how whites seem to be taking on, as editor Greg Tate's mother used to tell him, "everything but the burden"-from fetishizing black athletes to spinning the ghetto lifestyle into a glamorous commodity. Is this a way of shaking off the fear of the unknown? A flattering indicator of appreciation? Or is it a more complicated cultural exchange? The pieces in Everything but the Burden explore the line between hero-worship and paternalism. Among the book's twelve essays are Vernon Reid's "Steely Dan Understood as the Apotheosis of 'The White Negro, '" Carl Hancock Rux's "The Beats: America's First 'Wiggas, '" and Greg Tate's own introductory essay "Nigs 'R Us." Other contributors include: Hilton Als, Beth Coleman, Tony Green, Robin Kelley, Arthur Jafa, Gary Dauphin, Michaela Angela Davis, dream hampton, and Manthia diAwara.

30 review for Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mateo

    A while back I went to see Medicine for Melancholy, a film about two African Americans who have a one-night stand in San Francisco, and afterward joined a small group of strangers in the lobby who were discussing the movie. Among us was a white woman in her 70s, a doctor's wife from Los Angeles, as well as an elegant black woman originally from Mississippi, and at one point in our impromptu discussion of the film and of race in America, the doctor's wife began to talk about the problems her gard A while back I went to see Medicine for Melancholy, a film about two African Americans who have a one-night stand in San Francisco, and afterward joined a small group of strangers in the lobby who were discussing the movie. Among us was a white woman in her 70s, a doctor's wife from Los Angeles, as well as an elegant black woman originally from Mississippi, and at one point in our impromptu discussion of the film and of race in America, the doctor's wife began to talk about the problems her gardener, who was black, used to have driving around Westwood. The doctor's wife obviously meant well and was undoubtably progressive, but the moment was a little cringe-inducing, redolent as it was of a certain upper-class liberal noblesse oblige. The black woman listened impassively for a few moments, and finally responded by saying, not unkindly: "Well, yes, it's amazing what happens in this world. But I have to change the subject for a moment and ask you a question: how do you get your skin to look so fabulous?" (The doctor's wife was, it must be said, amazingly well preserved.) I instantly thought of a quote that appears in Hilton Als's essay on Richard Pryor in Everything But the Burden, which I was then reading: "For black people, being around white people is sometimes like taking care of babies you don't like, babies who throw up on you again and again, but whom you cannot punish, because they're babies." I don't know if Everything was intended primarily for black audiences, or white, or for both, but it has the virtue for a white reader like myself of having the feel of what black people say, or what some black people say, when the conversation is unmediated by the presence of white people. For this reason alone I'm glad to have read it. Being a collection of essays, Everything But the Burden, as one would expect, ranges widely in quality. Thankfully, all the pieces (with one exception, Michaela Davis's huffy essay on black beauty) avoid the trap of merely proclaiming the they-raped-and-enslaved-us-and-they-now-they-wanna-be-us diatribe, a trap not because it's not fundamentally true but because it's so true as to be both unedifying and even somewhat tedious. (Which is not to say that some people don't need to hear it, but they're not going to be reading this book.) And some of the essays suffer from a hyper-intellectualism, riddled as they are with recondite academese and intellectual jargon. (Whether this is due to a desire to out-intellectualize white authors, a general verbal malaise affecting artists and social-science academics, or the fact that Greg Tate knows a lot of smart people, I can't say.) At their best, though, the essays are nuanced and reflective and passionate. Among the finest: Manthia Diawara's recollections of his youth in Mali in the 1960s and his theory that the soul music of James Brown allowed Africans to reclaim their lost cultural heritage; Robin Kelly's history of black influence on American communism; Tony Green's reflections on Ali, Frazier, and Norman Mailer; hilarious pieces by Danzy Senna and Latasha Natasha Diggs (lampooning scholastic spelunking and celebrating lust for Asian men, respectively); and Cassandra Lane's remarkable first-person account of how her anger at whites can poison her closest relationships--an anger that she neither defends nor justifies, but for which she does not apologize, either. It's a nuanced piece that is at once rueful and defiant. But there is a hole at the center of this book, and that is--with the exception of Meri Nana-Ama Dunquah's remarkable essay about returning to the Africa she left as a child and trying to become "African" while all around her Africans are taking their clues from the West--never really discusses what it means to "take" something from another culture, or whether something can "belong" to one culture and not another. Once hip-hop became a global phenomenon, could white kids in the suburbs or Japanese idol princesses be said to be taking from black culture? Is Tiger Woods taking from white culture by golfing? Is Neil Degrasse Tyson taking from white culture by being an astronomer? Am I taking from Inca culture when I eat a potato? If rock and roll takes blues in directions that Muddy Waters could never have imagined, is that appropriation inappropriate? Some greater exploration of this question would have enhanced the book greatly.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris Blocker

    A misleading and uneven book that poses, but doesn't answer, an interesting question. Everything But the Burden isn't a collection of essays in its entirety. There's an impression given, as the book's description reiterates, that this is a collection of essays. Mostly it is; however, there are also excerpts from a play, a story or two, and a poem. Secondly, the book promises to tackle the question of what white people are “taking from black culture.” Indeed, that's what these pieces should be ab A misleading and uneven book that poses, but doesn't answer, an interesting question. Everything But the Burden isn't a collection of essays in its entirety. There's an impression given, as the book's description reiterates, that this is a collection of essays. Mostly it is; however, there are also excerpts from a play, a story or two, and a poem. Secondly, the book promises to tackle the question of what white people are “taking from black culture.” Indeed, that's what these pieces should be about. Mostly, they're not. Quite a few of the pieces go on at length about black culture and how it relates to this or how it relates to that, (“you can get with this or you can get with that”; note: “The Choice is Yours” – The Black Sheep? EDL?), but the only mention of the book's subject is a paragraph tacked on at the end. There are some pieces that really stand out as positive contributions. Among them are those written by Michaela Angela Davis, Arthur Jafa, and Meri Nana-Ama Danquah. It was these essays that gave this collection what strength it had. Finally, those essays that actually do tackle the subject do not prove their point. Their summation: white people are “crafty devils” who steal the best parts of black culture and never have to face the pain. But is it so simple? Is this a subject that can easily be divided into black and white? Can culture, with its lack of physicality, be stolen? Must all “whiggers” be condemned because of the success and buffoonery of Vanilla Ice and Eminem (a modern revision of this book surely would include Iggy Azalea)? And are all these white imitators truly free of black cultural burdens? What are these burdens? If those guilty of cultural appropriation face these same burdens, then does this disprove Tate and those essayists who argued his point? Let me tell you a little story. Hopefully, it's relevant. I was born “white.” I grew up in a white neighborhood, went to a white school, etc. At an early age, I fell in love with black culture. I don't know why; it just happened as it does for many. Initially, my love was simple, an appreciation for Michael Jackson and Prince which, with time, morphed into a deep love for Bobby Brown, Shai, and the R&B scene of the early nineties. By high school, I was a bonafide whigger: sagging pants, walking with a limp, stereo bumping the latest 2Pac, Menace II Society and Jason's Lyric on constant play on my VCR. I was guilty of betraying “the white race” and thieving from black culture. I was that crazy-looking white boy, taking “everything but the burden.” Everything but the burden. They called me nigger. Hundreds of times. I wished I'd been counting. I would've had the number tattooed on my chest and worn it as a badge. They bloodied my face. They once tried to run me off a bridge. They said they were going to kill me. I believed them. They wanted to. White people hated me. Cops did too. Without reason, I was pulled over, detained, and searched. Why? Because I looked the part. Because my friends were black. It didn't matter. They said I was “worse than a nigger” because I was a traitor. I never fought back. I couldn't. It was me versus the world, versus reason. Who'd stand behind me? And I continued for years. My whiggerdom changed, I went from white hoodrat-wannabe to white underground hip-hopper, but through it all I loved black culture. And then time came to “grow up.” I turned down the stereo (though the music is mostly the same), I bought pants that fit snugger (though far from tight), and I quieted down (though my heart still rages). What is burden? They called me the same names. They accused me of the same crimes. They treated me similar, if not the same. Where my burden ends is that I was able to take it off, neatly package it away, and try to fit in. But therein lies a burden in itself: I am alone. Outside of my wife (who is Hispanic, by the way; alien in part to both cultures), I have no one. I don't fit in. I literally spend days in my house without once leaving. I don't relate with people. I have become like Ellison's Invisible Man; instead of casting myself in a room of light to drown out my shadow, to become invisible, I have sequestered myself to a room without light, to be absorbed into the blackness, void of human contact because I don't know how to fit in anywhere. I knew how to talk to people when a greeting was “w'sup?” and hanging out meant goofing on a freestyle session. Now, I try to fake it, try to “act white” because that's what everyone—black and white—wants from me, but everyone sees through it. I am a fake. What did I take? I took the swagger. I took the music. I took the literature. I took the history. I took the dialect. I took it all. I even took the burden. But I gave it all back and all I have left is a memory of what was, and of course the burden. Maybe I was wrong to “take what wasn't mine.” Truly, I don't think so. My intentions were pure. But if I am guilty of cultural appropriation at its worst, then I guess I have received my sentence. This is my burden. Perhaps it is out of place and erroneous to expose myself completely on a book review for an uneven collection thirteen years old., but it posed the question and failed to answer it. There are many answers to such a question. This is my answer. Judge it how you will.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter William Warn

    Race is a little like literature. We feel it before we can think about it. Our most productive conversations about it involve both our emotions and intellects. The best entries in Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture are like that. Most writers in the book edited by Greg Tate blend their thoughts and personal experiences to share insights that are illuminating and often viscerally powerful. In a strong essay, the writer and singer Latasha Natasha Diggs uses Race is a little like literature. We feel it before we can think about it. Our most productive conversations about it involve both our emotions and intellects. The best entries in Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture are like that. Most writers in the book edited by Greg Tate blend their thoughts and personal experiences to share insights that are illuminating and often viscerally powerful. In a strong essay, the writer and singer Latasha Natasha Diggs uses her attraction to men of Asian ancestry as a base from which to explore complicated intersections of race and sex in "The Black Asianphile." In another, novelist Jonathan Lethem describes how he was stunned when his friends started calling him "white boy" because for years he thought they had an unspoken agreement that race didn't matter to them. In an interview with Tate, Vernon Reid of the band Living Colour suggests that one of the most authentic hip-hop acts might be . . . Steely Dan. The author Meri Nana-Ama Danquah infuses her analysis of standards of beauty with some of her weariness and anger: The older I got, the more I wondered what it would be like to live in Africa, to actually exist in a place where people who looked like me were the majority, the mainstream, the citizens empowered to shape language, set standards of beauty, define societal canons. I was tired of living in America; I was tired of being black in a predominantly white country. It was just too much like hard work, a constant uphill climb. I wanted to know how my spirit would feel living someplace where self-love did not always seem to be an act of self-defense, an emotionally exhausting effort to cancel out the effects of all the pervasive lies, stereotypes, and negative images of blackness. I wanted to be done with the intrusion of white supremacy and the internalization of my supposed inferiority. Not all of the pieces collected in Everything But the Burden work so well. Bits from Umkovuby by Eisa Davis suggest that the play is amusing and insightful, but the pieces that Tate presents are too brief to stand on their own. Others pieces go on at length and read like papers by grad students desperate to toss around the right buzz words and phrases to show their professors they've been paying attention in class. "Eminem: The New White Negro" by Carl Hancock Rux is a muddled mess in which Rux seems eager to show off that he's read Norman Mailer. Rux fails to make much sense of Eminem, the rapper whom he presents sometimes as a masterful manipulator of race and sometimes as an unconscious product of it. Melvin Gibbs suggests in "Thug Gods: Spiritual Darkness and Hip-Hop" that he is familiar with theologies ranging from those of the Thuggee tribes in ancient India to that of John Calvin, but he falls short of relating that history to the lives of anyone today. Similarly, Beth Coleman holds forth at length on "Pimp Notes on Autonomy" but does not make her discussion relevant to anyone who is curious about the men who define their lives in terms of the pimp's power, not all of whom are African-American despite Coleman's implicit suggestion. Tate, a writer for The Village Voice, signals the unevenness of his approach right from the start. He's taken the title of Everything But the Burden from a poem that his mother wrote, but Florence Tate's poem is not in the book. Her son's description suggests that it could have been one of the most powerful entries: Mom once wrote a poem of the same name to decry the longstanding, ongoing, and unarrested theft of African-American cultural properties by thieving, flavorless whitefolk. A jeremiad against the ways Our music, Our fashion, Our hairstyles, Our dances, Our anatomical traits, Our bodies, Our soul continue to be considered ever ripe for the plucking and the biting by the same crafty devils who brought you the African slave trade and the Middle Passage. Apparently Tate fancies himself a prosecutor and Everything But the Burden his indictment of white thieves of black culture. If he had made his case, it would have been powerful and important. Part of Tate's problem is reflected in that passage above. The "crafty devils" he cites are dead and have been for a long time. Some of the people who are doing the "plucking and the biting" to which Tate refers are their descendants. Others merely inhabit the country those "devils" once occupied. Today's devils are not "the same" as yesterday's. The realities of race are far more complicated than Tate's casual black/white approach. Fortunately, many of the other authors in Everything But the Burden recognize that. They have put into their work the effort required to grapple with complexities and make some sense of them. ENTRIES THAT WORK WELL Hilton Als, a writer for The New Yorker considers in "A Pryor Love: The Life and Times of America's Comic Prophet of Race" Richard Pryor's appearance on a Lily Tomlin special broadcast on CBS in 1973. His analysis illuminates much more than Pryor's career. Being black has taught him how to allow white people their innocence. For black people, being around white people is sometimes like taking care of babies you don't like, babies who throw up on you again and again, but whom you cannot punish, because they're babies. Eventually, you direct that anger at yourself--it has nowhere else to go. Also from Als' essay: The subject of blackness has taken a strange and unsatisfying journey through American thought: first, because blackness has almost always had to explain itself to a largely white audience in order to be heard, and, second, because it has generally been assumed to have only one story to tell--a story of oppression that plays on liberal guilt. The writers behind the collective modern ur-text of blackness--James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison--all performed some variation on the theme. Angry but distanced, their rage blanketed by charm, they lived and wrote to be liked. Ultimately, whether they wanted to or not, they in some way embodied the readers who appreciated them most--white liberals. In "The Beautiful Ones," Michaela Angela Davis, fashion director of Honey magazine, considers the multifaceted styles of Billie Holiday and others. Davis sees a kind of cultural confidence among people of African ancestry that inspires both envy and fear in people who try to appropriate some of it for themselves. In America, white people need black people to create, define and validate American style. . . . Not only did we not need their love, we appeared not to be damaged by their spiritual abuse and violence. We were beautiful without them. We were more beautiful without them. That was dangerous. SAVING THE BEST (PERHAPS) FOR LAST Race and literature affect us personally. Another reader might be moved or inspired or outraged by selections in Everything But the Burden that left me unimpressed. The essays that resonate with or challenge me might leave others unmoved. Still, it is likely that "Skinned" by journalist Cassandra Lane is the book's most powerful entry. Lane and her boyfriend leave Atlanta, where they live and work, for a visit to New York City. They go to a club that is billed as "hot and soulful" and that should be filled with other black people. She and her boyfriend are the only two African-Americans in the place. I contemplate leaving, but rebellion strikes me. Why should we be the ones to leave while they use our rhythm and our blues as their entertainment? Lane's rebellion is fueled by rage she feels about how white people have treated her family. Her great-grandfather was lynched by a white mob and her grandfather, whom she calls Papa, was almost imprisoned when a white man died in a car accident. It was only when that man's widow testified that her husband had been drunk that the white powers-that-were could realize what had happened. I am angry when my mother first tells me this story. Angry that the white man, even in his death, was given the benefit of the doubt while Papa was immediately incriminated. That his selfishness and drunkenness could have sent Papa to jail, left Grandmama without a husband and their children without a father for who knows how long. Even worse, that his carelessness could have killed them all--Papa, Grandmama, my uncle James. My mother, who was born in 1953, would not have been. I would not be. This story is mine. When I beg Mama to repeat it, Papa and Grandmama have been dead for years. I am an adult, filled with my papa's pride and traces of his daddy's ghost. My great-grandfather, Burt Bridges. Burt Bridges. I imagine the faces of the people who hanged him--and the faces of those who watched with glee. Only a few of my acquaintances are white. I don't let them get too close to me. Their flesh is always a reminder that I'm on the other side. A white person reading her account might want to say to Lane, "That's not me." I do. I want her to know that I would risk my life to stop a lynch mob. Or at least I believe I would. It does not matter. Lane knows that not all of the people who look like those gleeful lynchers share their prejudices. She knows that some white people have helped to shape a world torn less by racial hate than was the world of our ancestors. She knows, but her emotions can prevent it from mattering. Lane's rage is fed by her boyfriend's apparently easy acceptance of the roles of white people in his world. He says to her, "White people are a fact, babe. They will always be in power in this country. You're either going to learn to live with them or you won't get too far." She writes, "I want to hurt him for speaking the truth and making me hurt, making me feel powerless and outdated and unsophisticated. I want to hurt him for being so adaptable. Him, who has seethed with hatred for them, too." What we know about race and what we feel about it come together in ways that make understanding difficult, but not impossible. Our thoughts do not trump our feelings easily, but we can make them overcome. Much that is in Everything But the Burden can nourish understanding and energize efforts to make something come of that understanding.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Absolute trash. White people shouldn't be rappers. White people, oh, I'm sorry, that's 'white' people (the capital is only used for Black people) shouldn't touch anything that Blacks started. Yet Black people can use, touch, take, share, etc., anything that White people started. People like this are the reason racism is alive and well today. How about everyone do whatever the hell they want to do and not worry about who STARTED it and who STOLE it. Greg Tate is an rascist, idiotic bastard.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zefyr

    Not really a book to hold your hand so much as push you into the fire; its strongest points tend to be when the writers are actually defining the things white culture attempts to appropriate and their shadows that white culture attempts to look past or fails to even notice. So I see that a lot of reviewers feel that it goes off topic. I never felt that, but I did feel that I often had to do the work of running the essays I was reading through the question of, what exactly are white people taking Not really a book to hold your hand so much as push you into the fire; its strongest points tend to be when the writers are actually defining the things white culture attempts to appropriate and their shadows that white culture attempts to look past or fails to even notice. So I see that a lot of reviewers feel that it goes off topic. I never felt that, but I did feel that I often had to do the work of running the essays I was reading through the question of, what exactly are white people taking in this case, and what is the burden being left behind for Black people? Which I think is probably for the better: seems like often, when that question is answered for the reader/asker directly, the response is defensiveness. Of course. A big part of my day job is retraining, and so I've learned that the best way to retrain people is not to tell them what they did wrong, but to show them all the information and ask them what happened, what should have happened, and why what happened and what should have happened were different. Not, of course, that everyone will agree on what should have happened, or will be able to piece the information together, and that's a risk that comes with treating people as intelligent. But with so many writings on race out there that are based on telling, the portions of this imperfect book that focus on simply adding information to this issue make it worth that much more. No doubt, the Black Panthers were (a) supersexy and (b) had some pretty Stone Age thoughts on the position of women in the revolution (prone). Nonetheless, the Panthers, and Black Nationalism in general, made the dangerous move in America of public black self-determination. Fundamentally, nationalism calls for the self-recognition of a people. Leather jackets and machismo aside, this is revolution. The pimp evacuates politics for style, which is a maneuver far more conducive to longevity. Leather jackets and machismo are the only things left. The glossy image of pimps that suffuse magazines, music, and Hollywood makes unintelligible the aspects of enforcement, terrorism, and violence that go with the business. A whore is broken. Pimp economy reaffirms the historically established Western mode of mastery: in mastering oneself, there is an indivisible urge to master others. In fact, the pimp is celebrated for doing it so well, reducing the figure of mastery to the crucial bits. The question is not, How does the punisher get to be king (that seems like standard inherited behavior)? No, the question is, Are there other role models that actually work in the representation of mastery without pimping? ---Beth Coleman, "Pimp Notes On Autonomy" As the civil rights leaders in America have learned from the generation that succeeded them, it is much easier to liberate people than to tell them how to live their freedom. Unlike revolution, freedom cannot be taught—otherwise, it is a freedom that is no longer free, a freedom under siege. The youth in Bamako did not want to be restricted in their freedom, and therefore used it to express the themes and aesthetics of Pan-Africanism, the black Diaspora, and rock and roll—some of which were in continuity with the independence movement, and some in contradiction with it. ---Manthia Diawara, "The 1960s in Bamako: Malick Sidibé and James Brown" The older I got, the more I wondered what it would be like to live in Africa, to actually exist in a place where people who looked like me were the majority, the mainstream, the citizens empowered to shape language, set standards of beauty, define social canons. I was tired of living in America; I was tired of being black in a predominantly white country. It was just too much like hard work, a constant uphill climb. I wanted to know how my spirit would feel living someplace where self-love did not always seem to be an act of self-defense, an emotionally exhausting effort to cancel out the effects of all the pervasive lies, stereotypes, and negative images of blackness. I wanted to be done with the intrusion of white supremacy and the internalization of my supposed inferiority. ---Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, "Afro-Kinky Human Hair" to the central conundrum of black being (the double bind of our ontological existence) lie in the fact that common misery both defines and limits who we are. such that our efforts to eliminate these forces which constrain also function to dissipate much of what gives us our specificity, our uniqueness, our flavor and that by destroying the binds that define we will cease to be, but this is the good death (cachoeira) and to be embraced. ---Arthur Jafa, "My Black Death"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Borshuk

    A provocative, if somewhat uneven, collection about white appropriations and approximations of African American culture. (Worth noting, though, that some essays entirely fall out of this thematic range, but remain compelling.) Tate brings together a wide variety of voices, including big name academics (Robin D.G. Kelley, Manthia Diawara), notable novelists (Jonathan Lethem, Danzy Senna), and working artists (Arthur Jafa), to explore interracial cultural exchange in its many forms through many di A provocative, if somewhat uneven, collection about white appropriations and approximations of African American culture. (Worth noting, though, that some essays entirely fall out of this thematic range, but remain compelling.) Tate brings together a wide variety of voices, including big name academics (Robin D.G. Kelley, Manthia Diawara), notable novelists (Jonathan Lethem, Danzy Senna), and working artists (Arthur Jafa), to explore interracial cultural exchange in its many forms through many different forms of inquiry. Not always pitch-perfect, but worth a look.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phil Overeem

    Essential reading right now, though it's 12 years old.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Fasching-Gray

    I'd just finished reading the starry-eyed 'Why White Kids Love Hip Hop' Why White Kids Love Hip Hop by Bakari Kitwana and I wanted a counter argument. Instead, Greg Tate put some essays from a bunch of his friends, and only the first one about Eminem (yawn) had anything to do with white people vamping on hip hop while keeping their privilege. But it's still great, my favorite was an autobiographical essay from a black woman who is trying to grow dreadlocks and she's been buying this hair care pr I'd just finished reading the starry-eyed 'Why White Kids Love Hip Hop' Why White Kids Love Hip Hop by Bakari Kitwana and I wanted a counter argument. Instead, Greg Tate put some essays from a bunch of his friends, and only the first one about Eminem (yawn) had anything to do with white people vamping on hip hop while keeping their privilege. But it's still great, my favorite was an autobiographical essay from a black woman who is trying to grow dreadlocks and she's been buying this hair care product that is basically little starter dreads. Then she goes to Africa and can't find this product anymore. She freaks out for a while before she realizes she can just cut hair from her daughter and use it on her own head like the product she used to buy. It's deep, see. Cuz, like black hair, all the issues around black hair, and then it's actually comodified in the USA, they sell bits of black hair to people who are trying to grow dreads, and in Africa, at least where she was, I think Ghana? they were all trying to have straight hair, so the stuff she was looking for was just getting thrown out.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paolo

    Pick up this book, then go directly to the last essay by dp Arthur Jaffa, about his flash-of-lightning experience of watching Kubrick's '2001' as a black kid in 60's Mississippi. Complicated, piercing, inspired, and moving, like much of the essays in this collection. Jaffa's piece also made me re-think my love for blockbusters such as 'Alien' and 'Star Wars', whose villains are steeped in white anxieties about the Other as sexual and imperial conqueror. Aint no coincidence that Sigourney Weaver' Pick up this book, then go directly to the last essay by dp Arthur Jaffa, about his flash-of-lightning experience of watching Kubrick's '2001' as a black kid in 60's Mississippi. Complicated, piercing, inspired, and moving, like much of the essays in this collection. Jaffa's piece also made me re-think my love for blockbusters such as 'Alien' and 'Star Wars', whose villains are steeped in white anxieties about the Other as sexual and imperial conqueror. Aint no coincidence that Sigourney Weaver's character, a white woman, does battle with the very phallic and black Alien in Ridley Scott's movie, after it annihilates (via sexual propagation) a mostly white crew, in the blackest of outer space. Indeed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mr

    Like any anthology or collection, some pieces are stronger than others, but ultimately this is a necessary and challenging read for any white person who has even the most minimal interest in popular culture. Even the most mindful among us will have our thoughts and actions held up in front of us to be examined. We need to be better, and this book will help.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    This is by no means a light read, but the thought-provoking essays were timely, back when young men were sagging their pants and it was cool to do the jail-house shuffle. It's still worth looking at, because the disparity still exists.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather Bixler

  13. 4 out of 5

    Esther

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Chang

  15. 4 out of 5

    Don Barbera

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tialiah

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy Aquije

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Shedrick

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mr Glass

  21. 4 out of 5

    Roger Mckenzie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kijani Mlima

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jayden Roberto

  24. 5 out of 5

    K

  25. 4 out of 5

    J. Andrew Brantley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charles Dominguez

  27. 4 out of 5

    lynnee denise

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sho

  29. 5 out of 5

    K

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dava La negralinda

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.