Harvard Educational Review
  1. Black Popular Culture

    Edited by Gina Dent.

    Seattle: Bay Press, 1992. 373 pp. $18.95 (paper).

    Black Popular Culture brings into focus the work of Black insurgent intellectuals such as Stuart Hall, Cornel West, bell hooks, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Hazel Carby, Tricia Rose, Paul Gilroy, and Angela Davis. This single volume, as part of the "Discussions in Contemporary Culture" series, provides a comprehensive look at the diversity and complexity of Black popular culture, as well as the intellectual debates that such diversity evokes. Exploring some of the endless differences found within Black communities, this book stands as a testimony to the impossibility of essentializing experience by race, and instead points to the need to engage the shifting interconnections that speak to a more dialectical understanding of the relationships that constitute multiple identities and a pedagogy and politics of difference.

    By examining how popular mass media often work to distort perceptions of social reality that can act maliciously as agents of containment, discrimination, racism, and cultural reproduction, Black Popular Culture exposes how it is imperative that our classrooms investigate the historical context of particular forms of representation in popular culture, how such representations are constructed, and for whom. In light of the differences this book reveals, it nevertheless manages to shed hope on the possibilities for collective struggle.

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