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Post Black: How a New Generation Is Redefining African American Identity Paperback – January 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556528051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556528057
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #555,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Using the 2008 election of Pres. Barack Obama as a springboard, Chicago writer and editor Womack (Beats, Rhymes and Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip-Hop) launches an engaging and ambitious discussion of African American identity in the 21st century. Rather than concentrate on the spectacular or "every pathological condition that ever existed in African American life," Womack shines a bright light on the ever broadening, increasingly visible black middle classes that remain largely unseen by white America: young black professionals, immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, LGBT members, community-based artists, and others. A chapter on generation gaps pinpoints key differences amongst successful black baby boomers ("the so-called defenders of black identity"), Gen Xers, and millennials, especially in their views on community and tradition (a common trait among boomers and millennials: disdain for Xer extravagance and solipsism). Womack also charts the practicalities and bizarre ironies of greater cultural exposure (one chapter addresses the awkwardness of encounters with people-friends and strangers-who ask the question "What are you?"). Adjusting the lens on black America, Womack focuses in on a population diversifying in a number of positive directions, making headway against those who would rather ignore change: "in shifting the paradigm, these outliers shift the power to define what being African American truly is."

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Just beneath the surface of black American culture are changes that signal the end of the “one size fits all” definition of what it means to be black in the U.S., according to cultural commentator Womack. The election of Barack Obama was one highly visible sign of the challenges to standard notions of black identity. Womack identifies several emerging groups of the “seen but unseen” who are having a huge impact on black America: young black professionals; African and Caribbean immigrants; non-Christians; gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals; biracials and multiracials; and community-based artists. Devoting separate chapters to these subconstituents of black culture, Womack analyzes the swirling debate about authenticity, who is black, what the black experience means, and who gets to define it. She includes a scathing critique of the pseudonymous “Institution,” a venerable black civic organization that has ignored the younger generation at its peril, and debunks some of the more woeful notions attached to black folks’ lack of progress. Although recent developments are forcing a reexamination of assumptions about race, Womack emphasizes that this doesn’t mean an end to racism. It does, however, raise an important question: How much of black identity “is a summation of countering racism, and how much of it is authentically black?” Insightful and compelling. --Vanessa Bush

More About the Author

Ytasha L. Womack is an author, filmmaker, dancer and futurist. Her book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi and Fantasy explores black sci fi culture, bleeks, black comix, and the legacy of futurism. The book is a 2014 Locus Award Finalist in the nonfiction category.

Her book Rayla 2212 is a sci fi/ Afrofuturist novel that follows Rayla Illmatic's travels through space and time. The book inspired the Race in Space Conference at Duke University October 2013 and debuted at the 2014 Chicago Comic Con.

Ytasha is also author of the critically acclaimed book Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity and 2212: Book of Rayla. She is also the coeditor of the hip hop anthology Beats, Rhyme & Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip Hop.

Her films include Love Shorts (writer/producer) and The Engagement (director).

Ytasha is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and studied media management at Columbia College in Chicago. She resides in the Windy City.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dawn on January 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a wonderful summary of the problems facing the African American community. It wasn't the typical opinionated blog about racial discord and relationships, or the how the justice system has failed us. It was an insightful look at the mostly unidentified issues we face within our society and ourselves. It's a must read for any African American who has ever questioned if there was more to our identity than what the media reports.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hoosier artist on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ms Womack has written a book that needed to be written. I recognize the young people of Gen X & Y because I've met several and my son is one. I've long felt that they don't receive the attention they deserve because they are so smart, hard-working and productive. I'm grateful for this book because I'm always interested in knowing more about black folk who are taking care of business; I already know about black pathology. And I enjoyed learning a few things about the hip-hop music scene; I was born prior to the boomers, and haven't listened to much hip-hop. I recommend this book to anybody who wants to expand their perspective on black culture. The Time and Place That Gave Me Life
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By enrique on May 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book open my eyes to an american society in a truthful uncoated sort of way, particularly with the rise of white supremacy rants over the last several years. Thank you Ytasha for such greatness!
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