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Reflecting Black / African-American cultural criticism /
Michael Eric Dyson.
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c1993.
xxxiii, 346 p.
0816621438 (pb. : acid-free) 0816621411 (hc. : acid-free)
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series title
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c1993.
0816621438 (pb. : acid-free) 0816621411 (hc. : acid-free)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1993-03-29:
Dyson, who teaches African American studies at Brown University, has collected here an often impressive group of essays and reviews. He argues forcefully for a black criticism that rejects racial essentialism while recognizing the interweaving of cultural and political expression in African American culture. He proposes a quest for a criticism that would celebrate the virtues of black culture without ignoring its failings. Whether writing on Michael Jackson or Michael Jordan, Jesse Jackson or Martin Luther King, he offers a balanced vision that explicates the strengths of his subjects while it excoriates their theoretical lapses, whether sexism or a narrowly reductionist reading of racial politics. The final third of the book, focusing on the role of religion in black culture, features the strongest material, including an incisive analysis of the heroic stature of Dr. King. On the other hand, too many of the book's shorter ``occasional'' pieces seem included more as filler than as contributions to the theoretical or practical grounding of Dyson's work. However, when he draws on personal experience to convey the impact of racism--as when he recalls a humiliating incident at a bank in Princeton, N.J.--he is a powerful writer indeed. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Table of Contents
Introduction. Beyond Essentialism: Expanding African-American Cultural Criticism
The Culture of Hip-Hopp. 3
Rap Music and Black Culture: An Interviewp. 16
Spike Lee's Neonationalist Visionp. 23
Improvisation. On African-American Oral Culturep. 31
Michael Jackson's Postmodern Spiritualityp. 35
Improvisation. Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, and the State of Soulp. 60
Be Like Mike?: Michael Jordan and The Pedagogy of Desirep. 64
Improvisation. The Media and American Culturep. 75
Bill Cosby and the Politics of Race
Improvisation. Gordon Parks: Prometheus in Motionp. 88
Between Apocalypse and Redemption: John Singleton's Boyz N the Hoodp. 90
Improvisation. On the Mo' Money Soundtrackp. 110
Probing a Divided Metaphor: Malcolm X and His Readersp. 115
Improvisation. On Contemporary Black Nationalism: A Response to Gary Pellerp. 129
The Liberal Theory of Racep. 132
Improvisation. The Two Racismsp. 143
Racism and Race Theory in the Ninetiesp. 146
Improvisation. Affirmative Action and the Courtsp. 154
Leonard Jeffries and the Struggle for the Black Mindp. 157
Improvisation. Columbus Redux: An African-American Perspectivep. 163
Sex, Race, and Class: Two Casesp. 167
Improvisation. Toni Morrison's Visionp. 179
The Plight of Black Menp. 182
Improvisation. Remembering Emmett Tillp. 194
Black Grass-Roots Leadersp. 199
Improvisation. The Invisible Lives of Working-Class Black Menp. 206
Reflections on the 1988 Presidential Campaignp. 210
Improvisation. Looking Back on the Eightiesp. 216
Mixed Blessings: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Lessons of an Ambiguous Heroismp. 221
Improvisation. Martin's Death, and Ours?p. 246
Martin and Malcolmp. 250
Improvisation. King: A Metaphor for the Sixtiesp. 264
For Jonathan's Sake: The Morality of Memory - a Sermonp. 267
Improvisation. James Forbes and Riverside Churchp. 274
Rap Culture, the Church, and American Societyp. 276
Improvisation. Cornel West's Prophetic Criticismp. 281
"God Almighty Has Spoken from Washington, D.C.": American Society and Christian Faithp. 286
Improvisation. Political Correctness and the Seminaryp. 319
The Promise and Perils of Contemporary Gospel Musicp. 322
Improvisation. A Skeptic's View of Southern Baptistsp. 327
Indexp. 331
Permissionsp. 345
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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