Re: RARA-AVIS: On Post 9/11 Noir

From: B. D. Roye (
Date: 01 Jul 2005 wrote:

>Vincent wrote:
>"Those factors seem to be the spur to increasing wave of "street lit"
>authors. The emerging genre, which seems to gain some respect now that
>white-owned publishers are picking up some of the bestselling authors,
>seeks to make sense of black ghetto life."
>I've been wanting to check out some of this recent street lit, but I
>wasn't sure where to start. Can you recommend some titles and/or
>"The stories about drugs, prostitution, violence and prison are an
>indication for a style of novel that is more authentic to the African
>American mass culture, . . ."
>However, I've got to quibble with this claim of authenticity (even
>beyond my quibbles with the whole myth of authenticity). While it may
>be "authentic" to some, even many, African Americans, I find the idea
>that there is one true African American experience very troublesome.
>When you figure that at least half of African Americans are middle class
>or higher, this concept starts to crumble. And you don't have to look
>very hard to see the intra-race, often inter-class, debate over African
>American culture, at least as far back as the Harlem Renaissance. It
>recently made headlines with Bill Cosby's remarks about poor Blacks, but
>his remarks were part of a long tradition, in many ways updating the WEB
>Dubois/George Washington Carver debate. For most of its history, hip
>hop has been a focus of and platform for this debate. And I wouldn't be
>surprised if street lit prompts similar divides. I do know that the
>shortlived Syndicate books, which planned to wrap hip hop soundtrack CDs
>with the books, caused controversy, with some claiming it was more
>glamorization of the street, while they countered it would get kids
>interested in reading (gotta argue it's good for you in Puritanical
>America -- just being entertaining ain't good enough).
>RARA-AVIS home page:
>Yahoo! Groups Links
I believe the writer of this note meant Booker T. Washington not George Washington Carver who a scientist

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