Small Acts: Thoughts on the Politics of Black Cultures

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9781852422981: Small Acts: Thoughts on the Politics of Black Cultures
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Essays examines Britain's Black community and compares it with that of the United States

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About the Author:

Paul Gilroy is a Professor at the London School of Economics. Born in the East End of London to Guyanese and English parents, he was educated at University College School and Sussex University. Gilroy is a scholar of Cultural Studies and African diasporic culture. He is the author of Ain't no Black in the Union Jack, Small Acts, The Black Atlantic, Between Camps and Postcolonial Melancholia. Gilroy was also co-author of The Empire Strikes Back: race and racism in 1970s Britain, a path-breaking, collectively-produced volume. Gilroy has taught at Goldsmiths College and Yale University. He now holds the Anthony Giddens Professorship in Social Theory at the London School of Economics. Gilroy is known as a scholar and historian of the music of the African diaspora, as a commentator on the politics of race, nation and racism in the UK, and as an archaeologist of the literary and cultural lives of blacks in the western hemisphere. Gilroy's theories of race, racism and culture were influential in shaping the cultural and political movement of black British people during the 1990s.

From Publishers Weekly:

Critics of multiculturalism and of calls for "diversity" often cite absolutist and exclusionary trends within the movement as evidence that its adherents are taking destructive aim at the liberal ideal of pluralist democracy. But "multiculturalism" is more complex than that and the questions raised by diversity's champions about democracy, national identity and our increasingly multinational culture are increasingly inescapable ones. Gilroy ( Ain't No Black in the Union Jack ), a British cultural critic who is also black, transcends the common multiculturalist concept of ideal, essential racial cultures. He also aims trenchant criticism at the movement's more narrow-minded adherents. For him, black culture is itself becoming increasingly international. Pointing to rap music's hybridization of inner-city and Jamaican culture, he asks, "Why is rap discussed as if it sprang intact from the entrails of the blues? What is it about Afro-America's writing elite which means that they need to claim this diasporic cultural form in such an assertively nationalist way?" Though the prose is sometimes stiff, unnecessarily obscure and academic, and the book's photos add little, the essays, which include art reviews, speeches and interviews with bell hooks, Toni Morrison and black British filmmaker Isaac Julien, successfully broaden the scope of multiculturalist cultural criticism. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Paul Gilroy
Published by Serpent's Tail (1994)
ISBN 10: 185242298X ISBN 13: 9781852422981
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