White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue ... and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation

White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue ... and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation

by Lauren Michele Jackson

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Overview

Exposes the new generation of whiteness thriving at the expense and borrowed ingenuity of black people—and explores how this intensifies racial inequality.

American culture loves blackness. From music and fashion to activism and language, black culture constantly achieves worldwide influence. Yet, when it comes to who is allowed to thrive from black hipness, the pioneers are usually left behind as black aesthetics are converted into mainstream success—and white profit.

Weaving together narrative, scholarship, and critique, Lauren Michele Jackson reveals why cultural appropriation—something that’s become embedded in our daily lives—deserves serious attention. It is a blueprint for taking wealth and power, and ultimately exacerbates the economic, political, and social inequity that persists in America. She unravels the racial contradictions lurking behind American culture as we know it—from shapeshifting celebrities and memes gone viral to brazen poets, loveable potheads, and faulty political leaders.

An audacious debut, White Negroes brilliantly summons a re-interrogation of Norman Mailer’s infamous 1957 essay of a similar name. It also introduces a bold new voice in Jackson. Piercing, curious, and bursting with pop cultural touchstones, White Negroes is a dispatch in awe of black creativity everywhere and an urgent call for our thoughtful consumption.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807011805
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 11/12/2019
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 94,837
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lauren Michele Jackson teaches in the Departments of English and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Her writing about race and culture has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Essence, the New Republic, Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone, and New York magazine, among many other places. She lives in Chicago. Connect with her at laurjackson.com and on Twitter (@proseb4bros).

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
Appropriation and American Mythmaking

PART I: SOUND AND BODY

CHAPTER 1
The Pop Star: Swinging and Singing

CHAPTER 2
The Cover Girl: Blackness, Groundbreaking

PART II: ART AND LANGUAGE

CHAPTER 3
The Artist: A Dead Boy Made Art

CHAPTER 4
The Hipster: The New White Negro

PART III: TECHNOLOGY

CHAPTER 5
The Meme: Kermit the Frog Meets Nina Simone

CHAPTER 6
The Viral Star: Opposite from Stardom

PART IV: ECONOMY AND POLITICS

CHAPTER 7
The Chef: America’s Whiteface Mammy

CHAPTER 8
The Entrepreneur: A Bit Free

CHAPTER 9
The Activist: The Time for Anger

CONCLUSION
Business as Usual

Acknowledgments
Notes

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