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Kitwana, Bakari

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ISBN 10: 0465029787 / ISBN 13: 9780465029785
Published by Basic Citvas Books, New York, 2002
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Counterpoint Records & Books (Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.)

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sky blue paper-covered boards with a black paper spine, gold titles on spine, very slight bumping at foot of spine. book body clean and tight, signed at title page by author. pictorial dust jacket with orange titles on front and black titles on orange spine, autograph sticker covering portion on lower face, small light pinkish spotting on back cover, price intact, protected by archival brodart. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 9753

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Basic Citvas Books, New York

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Paper-Covered Boards

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: Stated First Edition

About this title


Young blacks born between 1965 and 1984 belong to the first generation to have grown up in post-segregation America. Their historical significance is tremendous, but until now there has been no in-depth study of the African American youth who are making this important chapter in our nation's history. Bakari Kitwana, one of black America's sharpest young cultural critics, 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 provocative 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 extraordinary insight and understanding, Bakari Kitwana has combined the culture and politics of his generation into a pivotal work in American studies.


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

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