Buppies, B-Boys, Baps and Bohos: Notes on Post-Soul Culture

Buppies, B-Boys, Baps and Bohos: Notes on Post-Soul Culture

by Nelson George

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Village Voice columnist George has already established his scholarly depth and his gift for stylish, finger-on-the-pulse reporting on black music with his The Death of Rhythm & Blues and Where Did Our Love Go? The Rise & Fall of the Motown Sound . This collection of articles, nearly all of them reprinted from the Village Voice , marks him also as a knowledgeable, entertaining critic of African American popular culture generally and its pervasive influence on American life. Beginning with an astute, comprehensive, polemical time line, ``A Chronicle of Post-Soul Black Culture,'' George traces black mass culture from the 1970s ``blaxploitation'' films through Alex Haley's Roots saga and comic Richard Pryor's sociopolitical humor up to the explosive popularity of hip-hop. His observations on the origins of rap in New York City black neighborhoods are valuable, and two probing essays--on the fatal 1985 shooting by a white Manhattan police officer of black Phillips Exeter Academy student Edmund Perry, and on the near-cosmic importance of basketball among black teens--vividly illustrate George's sensitivity to the social complexities of African American life. Photos. (Feb . )
Library Journal
In this collection of his Village Voice ``Native Son'' columns (written mostly since 1988), George ``reports on, hangs out with, and takes measure of'' a variety of black Americans, from Marvin Gaye, Rick James, Kool Moe Dee, and Tracy Chapman to Al Sharpton, David Dinkins, Magic Johnson, and Spike Lee. His focus is the ``black aesthetic,'' ``black cultural emasculation,'' and the recent ``tenor of African American culture.'' Dedicating this book to Richard Wright and James Baldwin, who ``taught him it was all right for little black boys to write about how they saw the world with no apologies and no fear,'' George minces no words as he thoughtfully addresses misogyny, rap music, gangs, Afrocentrism, ``blaxploitation,'' and what he called in 1990 ``Malcolmania.'' His 33-page chronology of post-soul black culture is invaluable. Most certainly, he has captured a significant part of American society and culture. Lots of libraries and lots of readers will want this book.-- Katherine Dahl, Western Illinois Univ., Macomb
Margaret Flanagan
During the past decade, Nelson George's regular column in the "Village Voice" has served as a chronicle and a bellwether for contemporary African American culture. In this volume, George has assembled a collection of his articles and essays, providing an overview of the evolution of black America in the post-soul, post-civil rights era. With an intensity of style and an unflinchingly honest commitment to both observation and self-analysis, the author manages to communicate the diversity and complexity of the black experience to both the informed and the uninitiated. From the commonplace to the extraordinary, George examines all the issues that concern the African American community, including politics, economics, racism, sexism, music, film, sports, literature, drugs, violence, and crime. Insightful urban sociology.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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1st ed

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