Catalogue


Hoodlums [electronic resource] : Black villains and social bandits in American life /
William L. Van Deburg.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c2004.
description
xiv, 283 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0226847195 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c2004.
isbn
0226847195 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Villainy in black and white -- Slaves as subversives -- Blacks and social banditry -- Gangland : crime and culture in contemporary America.
catalogue key
11574413
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [223]-271) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
William L. Van Deburg is the Evjue-Bascom Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-10-01:
All societies seem to develop heroes and villains. However, in the encounter between blacks and whites in the US, the meanings of hero and villain are often quite complex. One person's villain may be another's hero. For oppressed people, the rebels and subversives whom the dominant culture labels as villains may be heroes. Van Deburg (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) brilliantly explores the shifting terrain of hero and villain. White villains subjugated and brutalized black people during slavery and assaulted their dignity and humanity in the era of segregation. Insurrectionists such as Nat Turner, who were villains to slaveholders, were heroes to enslaved people. As social bandits, some individuals were "bad for a good reason." The narrative has recently become more complicated. Blacks are challenged to distinguish social bandits from mere criminals and gangsters who exploit and victimize their own people (black-on-black crime). Here, hip-hop culture is a double-edged sword, expressing the harsh reality of urban life but running the risk of glamorizing predators and validating the stereotype that all black people are dangerous and degraded (which is what white supremacists said all along). ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. W. Glasker Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, September 2004
Choice, October 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X. Muhammad Ali. When you think of African American history, you think of its heroes--individuals endowed with courage and strength who are celebrated for their bold exploits and nobility of purpose. But what of black villains? Villains, just as much as heroes, have helped define the black experience. Ranging from black slaveholders and frontier outlaws to serial killers and gangsta rappers, Hoodlums examines the pivotal role of black villains in American society and popular culture. Here, William L. Van Deburg offers the most extensive treatment to date of the black badman and the challenges that this figure has posed for race relations in America. He first explores the evolution of this problematic racial stereotype in the literature of the early Republic--documents in which the enslavement of African Americans was justified through exegetical claims. Van Deburg then probes antebellum slave laws, minstrel shows, and the works of proslavery polemicists to consider how whites conceptualized blacks as members of an inferior and dangerous race. Turning to key works by blacks themselves, from the writings of Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois to classic blaxploitation films like Black Caesar and The Mack, Van Deburg demonstrates how African Americans have combated such negative stereotypes and reconceptualized the idea of the badman through stories of social bandits--controversial individuals vilified by whites for their proclivity toward evil, but revered in the black community as necessarily insurgent and revolutionary. Ultimately, Van Deburg brings his story up-to-date with discussions of prison and hip-hop culture, urban rioting, gang warfare, and black-on-black crime. What results is a work of remarkable virtuosity--a nuanced history that calls for both whites and blacks to rethink received wisdom on the nature and prevalence of black villainy.
Main Description
Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X. Muhammad Ali. When you think of African American history, you think of its heroesindividuals endowed with courage and strength who are celebrated for their bold exploits and nobility of purpose. But what of black villains ? Villains, just as much as heroes, have helped define the black experience. Ranging from black slaveholders and frontier outlaws to serial killers and gangsta rappers, Hoodlums examines the pivotal role of black villains in American society and popular culture. Here, William L. Van Deburg offers the most extensive treatment to date of the black badman and the challenges that this figure has posed for race relations in America. He first explores the evolution of this problematic racial stereotype in the literature of the early Republicdocuments in which the enslavement of African Americans was justified through exegetical claims. Van Deburg then probes antebellum slave laws, minstrel shows, and the works of proslavery polemicists to consider how whites conceptualized blacks as members of an inferior and dangerous race. Turning to key works by blacks themselves, from the writings of Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois to classic blaxploitation films like Black Caesar and The Mack , Van Deburg demonstrates how African Americans have combated such negative stereotypes and reconceptualized the idea of the badman through stories of social banditscontroversial individuals vilified by whites for their proclivity toward evil, but revered in the black community as necessarily insurgent and revolutionary. Ultimately, Van Deburg brings his story up-to-date with discussions of prison and hip-hop culture, urban rioting, gang warfare, and black-on-black crime. What results is a work of remarkable virtuositya nuanced history that calls for both whites and blacks to rethink received wisdom on the nature and prevalence of black villainy.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. xi
Villainy in Black and Whitep. 1
Slaves as Subversivesp. 22
Blacks and Social Banditryp. 68
Gangland: Crime and Culture in Contemporary Americap. 143
Conclusionp. 215
Notesp. 223
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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