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

Date: 01 Jul 2005

Vincent wrote:

"As for African American authenticity, I do not know what that means."

That was kind of my point, that "authenticity" is too often a judgement from without -- you must be from the street to rap, or sing soul, or write crime novels -- that is very often measured against pre-existing stereotypes, even if it does often declare as good stereotypes that had previously been depicted as bad. For instance, gangsta rap may promote the usually reviled image of the highly sexualized bad black man, but that doesn't make it any less reductive.

"Neither does Bill Cosby or Michael Eric Dyson."


"BTW, that half-middle class stat is incorrect, check the U.S. census"

I haven't checked the census, was getting that claim from two documentaries -- one on class in America and one on depiction of blacks on TV. Still, even if the exact figure is inflated, the point remains that the black bourgeoisie is often forgotten, or judged to be "acting white," when dealing with depictions of blackness.

". . . , nonetheless many common feelings, emotions and predicaments resonate with Africans throughout the Diaspora. That was what I referred to."

Can't argue with that.

"As for authors, check out Zane [The Heat Seekers], Teri Woods [True to the Game],Tracy Brown [Chyna Black], or Shannon Holmes [Never Go Home Again], to name a few. There are more and more each week. Some of the best sell out of the trunks of their cars or with vendors in the major cities."

Thanks. I've needed a starting point. I've read Kenji Jasper's Dark and have a copy, but have not yet read, The Dying Ground by Nichelle Tramble. How do they stack up? (A decade or so ago, I also read some of the "yardie" fiction from England.)

"Also, I believe "street lit" is more than a passing fad. It seems to be part of an evolution in African-American literature."

The label may have changed, but it's been around for a while.

"That means, as hip-hop music, the genre threatens to go global and challenge the authenticity of the "mainstream."

Or become the mainstream.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 01 Jul 2005 EDT