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
     
 

From the author of The Death of Rhythm & Blues and Elevating the Game comes a volume of social commentary that rockets through the last two turbulent, audacious, angry, energetic decades of Black urban culture to form the definitive take on contemporary African American life. In Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Bohos, Nelson George chronicles the saga of post-soul culture,… See more details below

Overview

From the author of The Death of Rhythm & Blues and Elevating the Game comes a volume of social commentary that rockets through the last two turbulent, audacious, angry, energetic decades of Black urban culture to form the definitive take on contemporary African American life. In Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Bohos, Nelson George chronicles the saga of post-soul culture, which, he believes, hinges on the aesthetic metamorphosis of two important movements - hip hop music and Black film - and gives shape and voice to the four African American character types of the book's title that have emerged from the fallout of desegregation and have been crucial in redefining this country over the last twenty years. In this first collection of essays, George covers music, film, sports, publishing, politics, and city life uptown and down. He ponders the first unheralded dis-chords and gritty, aural graffiti of today's B-boy rappers, and the powerful message-laden music of Tracy Chapman; the thematic films of Spike Lee; the Brooklyn-beginnings of Willie Randolph; the novels of Toni Morrison; the Supreme Court appointment of Clarence Thomas; the politics of Al Sharpton; and much more. With moving personal strokes, he also paints everyday life in the Black community: the tragic and questionable murder of a promising Harlem youth by a white police officer; the issue of light versus dark skin; the indignities and humiliations experienced daily by Black men in today's society. Virtually every aspect of Black urban America is explored in these pages as he introduces roisterous rappers and legendary hoopsters, streetwise hustlers and influential filmmakers, unsung session men of the Motown sound and crack dealers. Few are better placed to sum up the last twenty charged years than Nelson George, who reports from the front lines of Black urban culture in his long-standing and widely-acclaimed Village Voice column, "Native Son," and whose sharp commentary has won him national recognition as on

Read More

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 - 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.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060167240
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/1993
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
288

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >