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White Negroes

When Cornrows Were in Vogue...and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Exposes the new generation of whiteness thriving at the expense and borrowed ingenuity of black people - and explores how this intensifies racial inequality.

American culture loves blackness. From music and fashion to activism and language, black culture constantly achieves worldwide influence. Yet, when it comes to who is allowed to thrive from black hipness, the pioneers are usually left behind as black aesthetics are converted into mainstream success - and white profit. Weaving together narrative, scholarship, and critique, Lauren Michele Jackson reveals why cultural appropriation - something that's become embedded in our daily lives - deserves serious attention. It is a blueprint for taking wealth and power, and ultimately exacerbates the economic, political, and social inequity that persists in America. She unravels the racial contradictions lurking behind American culture as we know it - from shape-shifting celebrities and memes gone viral to brazen poets, lovable potheads, and faulty political leaders.

An audacious debut, White Negroes brilliantly summons a re-interrogation of Norman Mailer's infamous 1957 essay of a similar name. It also introduces a bold new voice in Jackson. Piercing, curious, and bursting with pop cultural touchstones, White Negroes is a dispatch in awe of black creativity everywhere and an urgent call for our thoughtful consumption.

©2019 Lauren Michele Jackson (P)2019 Beacon Press

Critic Reviews

"Jackson is uncompromising in her bold language, palpable in her outrage; she keeps her razor-sharp analysis in an accessible but academic register." (Publishers Weekly)

"A revelatory, well-argued work of cultural criticism." (Kirkus Reviews)

"What I love most about Lauren Jackson’s incisive and richly detailed work in White Negroes is how it does not imagine any cultural phenomenon as something that does not have a history attached to it. And through the work of charting that history, a new cultural understanding arises. This is a vital text - one that offers new ways of seeing, hearing, and consuming." (Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us)

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White people: Don’t steal this book. Learn from it.

The analysis here is so incisive, the examples so illustrative and wide-ranging, and the conclusions so vital that I wish I could give a copy to every white performer, educator, user of social media, weed entrepreneur, restauranteur, visual or performance artist, fashion designer, and stylist alive today.