Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future

Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future

by Brandi Collins-Dexter
Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future

Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future

by Brandi Collins-Dexter


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**A New York Times Editors' Choice Pick**
**One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Nonfiction Books of 2022**

"Political activist Collins-Dexter’s essay collection is timely as well as pointed. In it, she argues that Democrats have taken Black voters for granted, and that the consequences of this mistake have already begun — and will accelerate."
The New York Times,"
15 Works of Nonfiction to Read This Fall"

For fans of Bad Feminist and The Sum of Us, Black Skinhead sparks a radical conversation about Black America and political identity.

In Black Skinhead, Brandi Collins-Dexter, former Senior Campaign Director for Color Of Change, explores the fragile alliance between Black voters and the Democratic party. Through sharp, timely essays that span the political, cultural, and personal, Collins-Dexter reveals decades of simmering disaffection in Black America, told as much through voter statistics as it is through music, film, sports, and the baffling mind of Kanye West.

While Black Skinhead is an outward look at Black votership and electoral politics, it is also a funny, deeply personal, and introspective look at Black culture and identity, ultimately revealing a Black America that has become deeply disillusioned with the failed promises of its country.


We had been told that everything was fine, that America was working for everyone and that the American Dream was attainable for all. But for those who had been paying attention, there had been warning signs that the Obamas’ version of the American Dream wasn’t working for everyone. That it hadn’t been working for many white Americans was immediately and loudly discussed, but the truth—and what I set out to write this book about—was that it hadn’t been working for many Black Americans either. For many, Obama’s vision had been more illusion than reality all along.

When someone tells you everything is fine, but around you, you see evidence that it’s not, where will the quest to find answers lead you? As I went on the journey of writing this book, I found a very different tale about Black politics and Black America, one that countered white America’s long-held assumption that Black voters will always vote Democrat—and even that the Democratic party is the best bet for Black Americans.

My ultimate question was this: how are Black people being led away—not towards—each other, and what do we lose when we lose each other? What do we lose when, to quote Kanye West, we feel lost in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250824127
Publisher: Celadon Books
Publication date: 01/02/2024
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 515,226
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Brandi Collins-Dexter is the former Senior Campaign Director at Color Of Change, where she oversaw the media, culture, and economic justice departments. She led a number of successful corporate accountability campaigns ranging from getting R. Kelly dropped from RCA to pressuring financial companies to pull funding from over 100 hate groups. She has testified in front of Congress on issues related to race, technology and corporate accountability. Brandi is a regular commentator in the media on racial justice and was named a 2017 “person to watch” by The Hill and one of the 100 most influential African Americans by The Root in 2019. She holds a B.A. in history from Agnes Scott College, and a J.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. She is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. Brandi comes from a long line of South Side Chicagoans and currently lives in Baltimore with her husband David and their cat, Ella.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Stories We Die With ix

Introduction: Where Are We Going? 1

1 Black People Love Me, and Other Things You Should Not Assume About Black Voters 15

2 Are You Being Served? 27

3 Who Will Survive in America? 35

Interlude: Feminism for Black Girls Who Have Stopped Caring About What You Think 51

4 Obama for America 59

5 Kanye Was Right-ish 75

6 Hard Times 89

Interlude: Because We Are Not Who They Say We Are … 103

7 Hood Vampires 111

8 The Bay Area Hustiers 125

9 Basement Politics 141

Interlude: Awkward Adventures on OnlyFans 153

10 An Abomination of Obamanation 161

11 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 178

Interlude: Traditions, Triggers, and Keys 191

12 The Stories We Live With 196

Conclusion: Maggot Brain 213

Acknowledgments 225

A Note on Additional Sources 228

Notes 230

Suggested Further Content 257

Index 265

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