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Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?by Michael Eric Dyson
Synopses & Reviews
Michael Eric Dyson took America by storm with this provocative expose of the class and generational divide that is tearing black America apart. Nothing exposed the class and generational divide in black America more starkly than Bill Cosbys now-infamous assault on the black poor when he received an NAACP award in the spring of 2004. The comedian-cum-social critic lamented the lack of parenting, poor academic performance, sexual promiscuity, and criminal behavior among what he called the knuckleheads” of the African-American community. Even more surprising than his comments, however, was the fact that his audience laughed and applauded. Best-selling writer, preacher, and scholar Michael Eric Dyson uses the Cosby brouhaha as a window on a growing cultural divide within the African-American community. According to Dyson, the Afristocracy”—lawyers, physicians, intellectuals, bankers, civil rights leaders, entertainers, and other professionals—looks with disdain upon the black poor who make up the Ghettocracy”—single mothers on welfare, the married, single, and working poor, the incarcerated, and a battalion of impoverished children. Dyson explains why the black middle class has joined mainstream America to blame the poor for their troubles, rather than tackling the systemic injustices that shape their lives. He exposes the flawed logic of Cosbys diatribe and offers a principled defense of the wrongly maligned black citizens at the bottom of the social totem pole. Displaying the critical prowess that has made him the nations preeminent spokesman for the hip-hop generation, Dyson challenges us all—black and white—to confront the social problems that the civil rights movement failed to solve.
The best-selling book that sparked a national debate about the class divide in black America
The acclaimed writer, preacher, and "hip-hop intellectual" exposes the raw nerve of class and generational warfare in black America with this provocative defense of poor African Americans.
About the Author
Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books, including Holler if You Hear Me, Is Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. He is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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