The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World

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9780879515867: The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World
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Dust jacket notes: "This provocative first collection of essays by Armond White, America's only nationally recognized Black film critic, tracks a recent phenomenon in pop music, videos, and film he calls 'the resistance' - a politically motivated body of work reflecting a new consciousness about race, history, and sexuality. From the rise of Black independent filmmakers to the appropriation by the mainstream of hip-hop culture, White's essays chronicle the complex changes in popular expression over the past decade, blurring the boundaries between high and low culture in a stimulating new way. Whether writing about Madonna singing with Black gospel choirs, racism in Hollywood movies, the justified arrogance of Spike Lee or the calculated rage of Ice-T, Armond White is never afraid to go against the grain. With sting and style to rival Camille Paglia, Armond White applies 'the resistance' to his writing in order to counter the existing system of privilege and oppression that controls most journalism. He reports from the vanguard of popular culture, and the result is the documentary of a movement, a vital body of essays that records a new wave of change as it happens."

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From Booklist:

Most collections of pop culture reviews are too ephemeral to have much value in libraries, but White's agenda gives this one uncommon substance. For 10 years, White has voiced his political and social convictions as arts editor of Brooklyn's black weekly, the City Sun. His stated intention is to "defend and agitate." Here, he surveys a decade's worth of mostly films, but also hip-hop records and plays, from Purple Rain through Forrest Gump. His is a highly radicalized perspective in which the black and white keys in The Piano (the movie) have an "unexplored racial subtext." If a focus that educes such observations is White's limitation, it is also what sets him apart. He raises issues and ideas others are unlikely to have considered. While railing against U.S. culture's indifference to the work of African American artists, he expresses a passion that is too scarce in the rarefied realm of arts criticism. Consider this provocative volume as an alternative to other pop culture titles, especially in libraries with strong black culture collections. Gordon Flagg

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