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The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American… (edition 2008)
by Bakari Kitwana (Author)
The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture by Bakari Kitwana
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0465029795, Paperback)Bakari Kitwana, a former editor at The Source, identifies blacks born between 1965 and 1984 as belonging to the "hip-hop generation" a term he uses interchangeably with black youth culture ("Generation X" applies mainly to whites, he says). He calls hip-hop "arguably the single most significant achievement of our generation," yet blames it for causing much damage to black youth by perpetuating negative stereotypes and providing poor role models. But this book is about much more than just rap music; it takes a broad look at the state of post-civil-rights black America and the crises that have come about in the past three decades, including high rates of homicide, suicide, and imprisonment and a rise in single-parent homes, police brutality, unemployment, and blacks' use of popular culture (through pop music and movies) to celebrate "anti-intellectualism, ignorance, irresponsible parenthood, and criminal lifestyles." Serious problems indeed, but Kitwana acknowledges that members of this generation have more opportunities than their parents had, and he believes there is still time to make positive and lasting changes.
He looks closely at this generation's worldview, politics, activism, and its high profile in the entertainment world, which has made it "central in American culture, transcending geographic, social, and economic boundaries." Emphasizing that "rap music's ability to influence social change should not be taken lightly," he calls for a more responsible and constructive use of this unprecedented power. Kitwana is concerned about the legacy of his generation, and he wants his book to "jump-start the dialogue necessary to change our current course." The Hip Hop Generation deserves to be read both for its aim and its execution. --Shawn Carkonen
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:33 -0400)
Young blacks born between 1965 and 1984 belong to the first generation to have grown up in post-segregation America. In this book Bakari Kitwana 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 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 insight and understanding, Bakari Kitwana has combined the culture and politics of his generation into a pivotal work in American studies.
(summary from another edition)
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