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Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence [Kindle Edition]

Keli Goff
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

For the last forty years the label “black voter” has been virtually synonymous with “Democrat” but a new generation of voters is changing that. In her provocative new book Party Crashing, political commentator Keli Goff introduces America’s newest swing voter. Like soccer moms and Nascar dads before them, young, black voters born after the Civil Rights Movement are becoming increasingly up for grabs, politically speaking. While the politics of their parents and grandparents were shaped by the Civil Rights Movement, Goff notes that the politics of her peers, members of the post-Civil Rights generation, have been shaped by a number of cultural influencers that transcend race; from “The Cosby Show,” to icons such as Oprah Winfrey, and the tragedy of 9/11. Civil rights has long been the defining political issue for black Americans but for this emerging generation of black voters, civil rights is now one issue among many that define their politics. As a result, they are challenging the idea that one’s skin color should color one’s political identity, and they are also challenging the idea that they should be Democrats. Since the support of black Americans has been crucial to the success of democratic candidates-from Presidents Kennedy to Clinton-this shift could be one of the most important developments in modern politics, arguably as important as the Civil Rights movement itself. Along with the political shift occurring, Goff also examines the cultural shift that is taking place on a wide range of issues including: gay marriage, hip-hop, and the emergence of what Goff calls “Generation Obama.” Through in-depth interviews with young, black voters, groundbreaking survey research, and conversations with a range of high profile Americans-from Colin Powell to Russell Simmons-Party Crashing explores the issues and people who have helped shape the politics of the post-Civil Rights Generation, and how this generation is reshaping America.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to Goff, a former intern for Sen. Hillary Clinton and campaign manager for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the black vote is becoming more elusive and unpredictable in today's political landscape. Goff's first book explores the transformation of the African-American voting bloc in the U.S. The author argues that what was once a cohesive political unit is now a diffuse coalition divided across myriad social, political and economic lines. Unlike their parents, who have historically held fast to the Democratic Party, younger African-Americans are becoming increasingly independent voters. Examining this generational split in terms of proximity to the civil rights movement, Goff finds that the bond forged between the Democratic Party and the African-American community may have lost its relevance to many younger African-Americans today. The author fleshes out several reasons for this: the split over social issues like gay marriage and abortion, the loss of cohesive, unifying leadership in the African-American community, the First Black President Bill Clinton proving a tough Democratic act to follow and the waning Democratic commitment to black churches. Goff proves herself a savvy political analyst, an adept cultural critic and a talented journalist, culling from sources as diverse as political polls, Chris Rock's standup comedy and interviews with politicians and ordinary citizens alike. She makes a persuasive argument that the black vote is becoming an imaginary concept: while Democrats take it for granted, Republicans don't bother to work for it. The result is disenfranchisement. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Young black voters are growing up and going in a different—more independent—direction than their parents, according to Goff, political analyst and frequent guest on CNN and Fox News. She sees parallels with the political evolution of immigrants from liberals wanting sympathy for the downtrodden to conservatives wanting to protect their gains. But for young African Americans, the picture is complicated by the long history of racism. Goff examines the growth of the black middle and upper classes and the influence of black culture on broader American culture that has produced a new generation not easily defined politically. Comedian Chris Rock, for example, with his opposition to higher taxes and support for legalized prostitution, defies categorization. Goff also examines the new direction represented by Barack Obama and what the shifting perspective of the post–civil rights generation will mean to the future of American politics. Goff draws on numerous research studies and interviews with political activists and operatives, scholars, and voters themselves to document this shift. She also brings strong cultural and social analysis—from the lack of a single unifying experience on a par with the civil rights movement to the advancement of black power brokers from Oprah Winfrey to hip-hop moguls—to explain the growing disconnect. --Vanessa Bush

Product Details

  • File Size: 440 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 046500332X
  • Publisher: Basic Civitas Books (April 28, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ADO7MR2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,733,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for All the Political Junkies Out There March 3, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For decades, the Democratic Party has been able to count on almost the entire black vote. But as we progress beyond the Civil Rights Movement, and as African-Americans join the ranks of the middle class in increasing numbers, an undivided black vote is no longer something Democrats can take for granted...or so argues Keli Goff in her thought-provoking "Party Crashing."

Goff's analysis is lively, whip-smart, and comes from an entirely new perspective than the latest rash of political tomes we've seen. Her writing style is engaging and keeps you moving from page to page as she examines everything from economic trends to voter patterns to pop culture, and questions whether and how the Democratic Party can make itself relevant to a younger generation of black voters--or fail to do so at their own peril. Goff moves seamlessly between groundbreaking original research and up-close-and-personal interviews with iconic figures such as Colin Powell and Russell Simmons. In an election year that has seen our first viable African-American presidential candidate, and in which younger voters are already turning out in record numbers, this book couldn't be more timely.

Want to know how "Generation Obama" is trending? The answers are here--and they're not what you'd expect. If you're someone who will be personally affected by the outcome of the 2008 presidential election (and, let's face it, that's ALL of us), this book is a must-read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get rid of labels March 24, 2008
As seen with the current Presidential campaign of Barack Obama there is a generational difference among African Americans when it comes to politics. As Party Crashing points out, today's younger black voter has different values and beliefs then their older generation. Race is no longer the only issue for younger black voters, while it is still a major issue there are other factors which younger black voters feel are just as important such as the economy, the war in Iraq and the environment.

The book points out repeatedly that the same issues and struggles of say Harry Belafonte in 1960 would be the same as any other black person who may have been a maid or a bus driver. No matter one stature back then, everyone faced the same amount of discrimination. Today, someone like Lebron James would not have the same issues and struggles in common with a bus driver. The black experience today is more varied than ever and everyone today does not share the same experience.

The book also points out the rise of the young black independent voter and how the Democratic Party is beginning to lose control of this demographic that for decades had been part of their base. While no one foresees large numbers of black voters heading back to the Republican Party where the black vote started before the Civil Rights Era, many young black voters feel that they have been taken advantage of by the Democratic Party and the book cites several examples of this.

Another interesting facet that the books points out is the declining influence of older Civil Rights Era stalwarts have on younger black voters.
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