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Black Culture and Experience

Contemporary Issues


Edited By Venise T. Berry, Anita Fleming-Rife and Ayo Dayo

Black Culture and Experience: Contemporary Issues offers a holistic look at Black culture in the twenty-first century. It is a collection of work that creates a synergy among authors and leads to a valuable resource on contemporary issues. Part One examines institutional, societal, and political issues like identity politics; the Rooney Rule; prosperity gospel; inequality in the criminal justice system; the American dream; the future of Black and Africana studies; and President Obama’s double consciousness. Part Two investigates social, cultural, and community issues such as the Affordable Care Act; Black women and obesity; Black men’s experience in marriage and relationships; sexual decision making; interracial relationships; and cultural racism. Part Three explores media, pop culture, and technology issues including the rise of urban fiction; hip hop and feminism; race in Super Bowl commercials; the construction of Black Diasporic identities; Whiteness in Black-oriented films; Black masculinity in Django Unchained; and the power of Black Twitter. This anthology contains work from leading scholars, authors, and other specialists who have been brought together to highlight key issues in black culture and experience today. The goal is to help readers understand where we are and where we still need to go, what is working and what we still need to work on, what is right and what is still wrong.
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Chapter Fifteen: An Affair to Remember: Hip Hop and the Feminist Perspective


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An Affair to Remember: Hip Hop and the Feminist Perspective


I never considered myself a feminist—in my late twenties when I was head-nodding to the Money, Cash, Hoes collaboration of Jay Z and DMX; and I didn’t consider myself a feminist a year later, when I agreed to a “traditional” marriage, took my husband’s last name and promised to love, honor and “obey” him. Although I had two degrees by that time and was working on a third—and he only had one—I agreed that he would head the household and I would take the lead on rearing our future children. I was in love, and I was happy with that arrangement. It made perfect sense to me as an African American female born and raised in the 70s. The messages I received early on were of “Black power” and “Black beauty.” I grew up on Soul Train, Good Times and The Jefferson’s. My four older sisters wore their hair natural—beautiful afros, like crowns; my mom bought products like Afro-Sheen and read Jet magazine; my dad drove a Cadillac and smoked Winston 100s; we saw every “Blaxploitation” movie ever made, and cheered for the hero who inevitably managed to “stick it to Whitey.” So, I never considered myself a feminist and neither did anyone I knew.

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