Bulletproof Diva


In Bulletproof Diva, Lisa  Jones brings the wit and candor of her infamous  Village Voice column, "Skin Trade,"  to a much larger audience. Chock full of the  "fierce black girl humor" that has made her  column so popular, this provocative collection of  essays and observations on race, sex, identity, and  the politics of style speaks to a young generation  of blacks who were raised in an integrated society  and are now ...

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Bulletproof Diva

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In Bulletproof Diva, Lisa  Jones brings the wit and candor of her infamous  Village Voice column, "Skin Trade,"  to a much larger audience. Chock full of the  "fierce black girl humor" that has made her  column so popular, this provocative collection of  essays and observations on race, sex, identity, and  the politics of style speaks to a young generation  of blacks who were raised in an integrated society  and are now waiting for America to deliver on its  promises of equality. The thirty-seven short  pieces and six long essays in Bulletproof  Diva cover a wide range of topics, many of them  extremely controversial. Jones moves smoothly from  issues of ethnicity in a changing America,  challenging viewpoints on African-American  and mixed race identity, to "butt theory"  and the roller-coaster politics of black hair.  Written in a style that is as appealing as it is  unapologetic, Bulletproof Diva  marks the debut of a genuinely gifted young writer  with a distinctive voice and a fresh perspective on  the black cultural scene.

Lisa Jones brings the wit and candor of her infamous Village Voice column to a much larger audience. This provocative collection of essays and observations covers a wide range of topics, many of them controversial. Jones moves smoothly from issues of ethnicity in a changing America to "butt-theory" and the roller-coaster politics of black hair.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lisa Jones's  writing is so vibrant and dynamic, her words create a  kind of fierce music... a fabulous book." —  The Boston Globe
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Style is political, of course,'' remarks Jones in one of the essays of this volume; and she proves her point through a series of impressionistic tales of the lives of African American women that demonstrates that the politics of style are linked integrally with the politics of race and gender. ``For black women without access to the room of one's own to make leisure-time art,'' Jones explains, ``our bodies, our style, became the canvas of our cultural yearning.'' Accordingly, the essays, culled mainly from Jones's ``Skin Trade'' column in the Village Voice , uncover layers of signification behind everything from lifestyles to hairstyles--she reads ``the hair trade as American social text.'' The insights yielded by these vignettes are particularly noteworthy because of the gap, explored by Jones adroitly, between the lives, ambitions and desires of the real women she writes of and the reductive, often negative iconography of black women in mainstream American culture. The Bulletproof Diva, a woman who cuts her own trail through the complex terrain of American culture without internalizing the repressive stereotypes this culture offers her as prefabricated forms of self-knowledge, comes to life repeatedly in these pages, yet is all but invisible elsewhere in the American media. Jones argues that it's time we recognize and celebrate her existence. Wickedly witty, savvy and on occasion breathtakingly insightful, these essays turn style into substance. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Jones covers the politics of style in a regular column, ``Skin Trade,'' for the Village Voice , and this collection offers a sampling of her perspective on the contemporary black cultural experience. In essays ranging from an analysis of ``supermama'' roles for black women in films to the politics of hair care products, she explores what it means to be black in America today. Considering subjects that are seldom treated in the mainstream press, her distinctive voice offers new ways of seeing issues of gender, sex, and ethnicity. Jones, the daughter of writers Amiri Baraka and Hettie Jones, struggles with her own identity as a multicultural woman of the 1990s, weaving personal experiences with her reflections on the world she finds. The resulting essays are sometimes funny, often provocative, and always thought-provoking. Having coauthored three books with filmmaker Spike Lee, this is Jones's first solo effort and should be considered for purchase by most libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.-- Judy Solberg, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385471237
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1st Anchor Books ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
How I Invented Multiculturalism 7
Hair Always and Forever 11
My Slave Name 16
Never "Auntie" 21
Mama's White 28
Video Soul (and Salsa) 36
East River's Edge 40
The Outback 43
Tragedy Becomes Her 48
Is Biracial Enough? (Or, What's This About a Multiracial Category on the Census?: A Conversation) 53
Bring the Heroines 69
Venus Envy 73
Gold Digging the Skeezers 78
Supermamas Revisited 83
Girls on the Strip 87
Soldier in the Style Wars 91
This Is Faith 96
The Invisible Ones 117
She Came with the Rodeo 125
1-800-WASP 145
A Doll Is Born 149
Faded Attraction 153
Make Self-Love 157
Profiling 162
Color Therapy by Deandra 166
Dirt and Overness 171
School Clothes 175
Mandela Diary 180
Forty Acres and a Holiday 190
Looking for Mariah 195
Corporate Boys 209
Open Letter to a Brother 214
Drop-Dead Fine 218
Brother Jon 223
The Signifying Monkees 229
Pussy Ain't Free 246
Reckless Igging 252
It's Racier in the Bahamas 256
Genitalia and the Paycheck 266
Planet Hair 273
The Hair Trade 278
Africa 298
Hair Again 303
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