From inside front cover:
In his most provocative book to date, "hip-hop intellectual" Michael
Eric Dyson exposes the class and generational divide in black America
through its most unexpected public critic: comedian and actor Bill Cosby.
Drawing on his deep knowledge of African-American history and politics, Dyson
counters Cosby's now-infamous attack on the black poor -- first launched in May
2004 at an NAACP dinner celebrating the anniversary of Brown v. Board of
Education -- with a dazzling defense of black parenting, education, and
popular culture and a harrowing assessment of the societal barriers that still
oppress so many families. Dyson not only challenges Cosby's most notorious
statements but also explains how their wide acceptance reflects the growing rift
between the elite "Afristocracy" and the struggling "Ghettocracy."
It is time for the black middle class to abandon the politics of shame, argues
Dyson, and instead embrace the gospel of collective responsibility put forth by
visionary leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr., and W.E.B.
DuBois. The rage and vitriol of elders like Cosby will not bring about the
prison reform, jobs, or public school funding that the most vulnerable among us
so desperately need.
Displaying the critical prowess and commitment to social justice that have
made him the nation's preeminent spokesman for the hip-hop generation, Dyson
challenges all of us -- black and white -- to join together to find real answers
to America's enduring social problems.
Michael Eric Dyson is the author of many books including the
bestseller Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves, and Demons of Marvin Gaye;
Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur; Why I Love Black Women;
and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at the University of
Pennsylvania, he lives in Philadelphia.
Is Bill Cosby Right?
(Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost its Mind?)
by Michael Eric Dyson
Publisher: Basic Civitas Books
Publication Date: 2005
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Book Type: New