The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture by Bakari Kitwana, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture

The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture

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by Bakari Kitwana
     
 

Young blacks born between 1965 and 1984 belong to the first generation to have grown up in post-segregation America. Their historical significance is tremendous, but until now there has been no in-depth study of the African American youth who are making this important chapter in our nation's history. Bakari Kitwana, one of black America's sharpest young cultural

Overview

Young blacks born between 1965 and 1984 belong to the first generation to have grown up in post-segregation America. Their historical significance is tremendous, but until now there has been no in-depth study of the African American youth who are making this important chapter in our nation's history. Bakari Kitwana, one of black America's sharpest young cultural critics, offers a sobering look at his generation's disproportionate incarceration and unemployment rates, as well as the collapse of its gender relations, and gives his own provocative social and political analysis. He finds the pain of his generation buried in tough, slick gangsta movies, and their voice in the lyrics of rap music, "the black person's CNN." By turns scathing, funny, and analytic, The Hip Hop Generation will stand as the testament of black youth culture at the turn of the century. With extraordinary insight and understanding, Bakari Kitwana has combined the culture and politics of his generation into a pivotal work in American studies.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Editor and music reviewer Kitwana is an influential analyst of rap music and hip-hop culture. Here he argues that the essence of today's Black youth culture lies much deeper than the basic elements of hip- hop culture, and looks beyond the music, break dancing, graffiti, dj- ing, style, and attitude to find the seeds of the next generation's struggle against racism in the US. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kirkus Reviews
An authority on hip-hop culture offers a knowing primer on the state of young black Americans. Freelance journalist Kitwana is an astute observer of the "hip-hop generationers," defined by him as black Americans born between 1965 and 1984. Their experiences and views, he affirms, differ greatly from their baby boomer parents and older siblings, whose lives were shaped by the civil-rights and black-power movements. Hip-hop generationers came of age in a post-segregation, more materialistic world, where illusions about racial justice are often mocked and young people see money as the only absolute. The emphasis on attaining wealth is understandable, says the author, in an era of globalization, when good jobs flee overseas and unskilled work no longer offer the means of earning a livelihood. Black youths face more intractable forms of racism than their parents: draconian drug laws and sentencing policies have placed one million African-Americans behind bars, a coarsened culture offers them only "gangsta" images in film and music, and real-world events such as the attacks on Rodney King and Amadou Diallo are constant reminders of their vulnerabilty. These pressures, says Kitwana, assault the very fabric of black life. A chapter entitled "Where Did Our Love Go?" visits the gender war that manifests itself in rap misogyny and stems from young black men's angry perception that they stand little chance of attaining fulfillment or rewards in American society. He discusses the nihilism inherent in rap music and gangsta films but also cites ways in which both media can disseminate positive images and ideas. The author does a superior job of depicting the hip-hop generationers' worldview andconvincingly explaining why young African-Americans do not share their parents' optimism. Chapters spelling out a hip-hop political agenda are less compelling, and the profiles of young "hip-hop" activists such as Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. feel tacked on. Kitwana's analysis may be overly pessimistic, but his candid overview deserves a hearing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465029785
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/17/2002
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
230
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.86(d)

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