From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism

From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism

From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism

From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism

Synopsis

In this, her grounbreaking book, Patricia Hill Collins examines the new forms of racism in American life and the political responses to them. Using the experiences of African American men and women as her touchstone, she covers a wide range of issues that connect questions of race to American identity. She follows the long arc of African American responses to racism in the US, from Black Nationalism, to Black feminism, to hip hop. Using this "genealogy," she then investigates how nationalism has operated and reemerged in the wake of contemporary globalization and the unexpected resurgence of nationalism. She then offers an interpretation of how Black nationalsim works today in the wake of changing Black youth identity and the continuing need to draw on nationalism and feminism to formulate both a response to racism and a concrete platform of political action.

Excerpt

From Black Power to Hip Hop

My life was totally consumed by all aspects of gang
life…. My clothes, walk, talk, and attitude all reflected
my love for and allegiance to my set. Nobody was more
important than my homeboys—nobody…. I was six
years old when the Crips were started. No one antici
pated its sweep. The youth of South Central were being
gobbled up by an alien power threatening to attach itself
to a multitude of other problems already plaguing them.
An almost “enemy” subculture had arisen, and no one
knew from where it came. No one took its conceptions
seriously. But slowly it crept, saturating entire house
holds, city blocks, neighborhoods, and eventually the
nation-state of California.

—Sanyika Shakur, AKA “Monster” Kody Scott

Many in hip-hop are simply carefully navigating the
waters of their sexuality. These guys I refer to as homie
sexual are, clinically speaking, homosexual. But they very
much take on a machismo that separates them from as
sociations with words like gay, queer, and most espe
cially fag. I would guess that this has a lot to do with
safety, and with a culture that hates you because you're a
fag and most definitely hates you because you're black.

—Village Voice

My father got at least twenty years of good high living
out of the [drug] business…. That's power. To be able
to set up your own empire in your neighborhood, or
even somebody else's neighborhood for that matter. To
buy cars, Jeeps, trucks. To sport the flyest shit made by
top designers everyday…. To be able to shit on people
before they get a chance to shit on you. That's power.
Who could argue with that? A regular nigga worked all
week for change to get to work plus a beer to forget
about how hard he work…. Let's compare it, ten years . . .

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