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When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down Paperback


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When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down + The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop--and Why It Matters + Home Girls Make Some Noise!: Hip-Hop Feminism Anthology
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (February 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068486861X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684868615
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kristal Brent Zook Vibe Definitely not your mother's guide to the Equal Rights Amendment....Morgan's reflections are as timely as they are cogent.

Lori L. Tharps Ms. magazine Morgan tussles with the perceived contradictions of being black, female, fly, and feminist -- from the myth of the "strongblackwoman" to chickenhead envy (coveting the perks of women who live off rich men)....Morgan has penned a vibrant new tome on a taboo topic....The book offers a fresh alternative to accepted notions about black womanhood.

Martine Bury Jane It's a bold, cheeky, self-affirming read, and for black women in this society, there's hardly enough affirmation.

Lauryn Hill This book is an important read for all people everywhere. Enjoy!

Michael J. Rochon The Philadelphia Tribune When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost...is gaining nationwide acclaim for adding a fresh, idiosyncratic point of view -- the voice of a new generation -- to the oft-debated saga. Painstakingly straddling the line which separates street smarts from book intelligence, Morgan offers 240 pages worth of commentary on what it is like for a Black woman to come of age, Gen-X style....While most Gen-Xers claim to be "keepin' it real," Morgan's new book instead shows that she's making the conscious choice to "keep it right." And not only by flipping and bouncing words and phrases that reflect today's popular culture, this new age feminist shows and proves that the day in which James Brown screams "it's a man's world" might be finally coming to a dawn.

Kirkus Reviews A debut collection of impassioned essays, written in poetic, flowing prose....Fresh and articulate. Steadily perceptive, shrewdly provocative.

Vanessa Bush Booklist [Morgan] brings a powerful voice to concerns of modern black women.

Honey As is the case with a lot of Morgan's work, Chickenheads remains unafraid to "go there" around a few touchy issues....[The book] will definitely engender passionate discussions among readers....Regardless of how interpreted, you gotta give it up to this "yardie gyal" from the Bronx who's brave enough to put her ideas out there so that the rest of us home-grrrls can all together start climbing toward wholeness.

Ronda Racha Penrice Rap Pages Whether one agrees with Morgan or not, the sister definitely makes you think.

Cindy Fuchs Philadelphia City Paper A journalist by trade and outspoken black feminist by inclination, Joan Morgan has style to burn....When Morgan brings it, she's funny, fierce, and yes feminist....Morgan insists that the hip-hop generation can set its own goals -- emotional, spiritual, social and political. Time to move on, and Morgan's leading the way.

About the Author

Joan Morgan began her writing career at The Village Voice. A staff writer at Vibe magazine for three years, she has also written extensively about music and gender issues for The New York Times, Ms. Madison, Interview, and Spin magazine, where she was a contributing editor and columnist. Morgan is presently a contributing writer for Essence and Notorious. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I especially like how Joan explores the relationship between black women and their fathers.
K. Harrell
The book helps uncover why some of the current opinions and situations are held by this generation and pushes us to explore them more and to resolve them.
Miss Novella
I would recommend this book to any young woman or young person for that matter looking for an interesting read.
Kalisha D

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Domini on July 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have bought this book three times now, because my students and friends keep borrowing it and "forgetting" to return it. They love it, and so do all of the black women I know who read it.
This book is truly an insightful and elegant attempt to explain the complexity of black womanism (most black women reject feminism, which places gender at the center of an experience, and place race/gender/class at the center, and understand these things mix). She discusses the disgust "strongblackwomen" have for "chickenheads", whose conservative philosophy of using their bodies as a shortcut to monetary and sexual achievement hurts other black women, as we are accused of the same manipulative behavior. She also articulates what most educated black women have thought, over and over again, as we confront black women and men who want our (middle class black women's and black men's)help, but who then criticize us down for being responsible, disciplined, educated, and successful. She also deals with white racism, and how irresponsible people use it to tear down responsible black women.
Redtwister's review denigrates her solutions as simplistic and symptomatic of her status as a middle class black women. He calls them "bootstrap" and "Nation of Islam." This reveals his lack of experience with the non-academic black community, and especially with the black inner city. He recommends a class analysis that leads to governmental solutions that just are not going to happen, and does not understand that this work is conscious at all times of "reality" and feasiblity.
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47 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Christopher D. Wright on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Not being African American or a woman, you can take this for what it is worth. Maybe not much. There's the disclaimer.
The book has some really profound moments. The discussion of rap music, what is going on with the mysoginy in it, from pages 70-81 puts the whole scene in a different light. Really sharp stuff. I also liked her take on the Million Man March. I think her best moment is when she describes the inner connection between African American women and men (race, not just as oppression, but as a shared culture and community of integrity and struggle and failings and humanity, and most importantly, of LOVE) that seems to be lacking (or weaker) between white (middle or upper class) women and white men, who maybe often fight over getting full white privileges without gender discrimination. Some element of this exists among all working class women, but race figures as a more acceptable and prominent form of social identity (especially when the so-called "white race" is nothing more than a morally and culturally empty vessel of privileges and power over and against anyone defined as "not white".) This may be her most lucid moment. The whole discussion of the SBW also offers some insights that I would not otherwise have even a tiny clue about. For those insights and that sharing, I can only be thankful that Joan Morgan wrote this book.
The problems appear in discussing solutions. Here, her entrenchment in the new Black middle class creates huge weaknesses and fragments, most notably a kind of ignorance of social problems connected to class (though it would be a mistake to confuse "chickenheads" with working class women.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Harrell on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like this book in that the author, Joan Morgan, does not try to act like her book has all the answers for everything. Instead, she just tries to offer her view and let you take what you can from it.

First she explores how feminism has traditionally been interpreted in Black culture, and how this limiting definition has evolved in the 21st century, especially as it relates to being a part of the hip-hop culture. She also explores how history has influenced the current relations between black men and women, and their evolution into the strongblackwoman and endangeredblackman stereotypes. Joan also talks about the animosity between "chickenheads" and strongblackwomen, and encourages women to really be themselves.

I especially like how Joan explores the relationship between black women and their fathers. She provides a unique insight and solution for this dilemma.

This book is a timely message for "strong" black women who are looking for a way to absolve thier independence with their innate feminism.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Damali Rhett on February 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best examples of "feminist works" I have seen. This book let's both men and women explore who they are and what keeping it real really means for positive blacks in the year 2G. It is a very easy read and cheap. I would definitely recommend it for any body who is interested in black on black relationships.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teremoana Rapley on March 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must for any 'older schooled' hip hop female heads worldwide. Morgan has a wonderful street/hip hop rhetoric that speaks to women who have a love for this thing called hip hop and life. Ladies pay attention to her words! She is rough, rugged raw and honest. Mama's, try this book out on your daughters, you may need to read it with them or break Morgans pearls of wisdom down for them as their heads bob in and out of the book either agreeing, disagreeing or shooting looks of confusion. She hits the chicken head directly on the head, there is a little bit of chicken head in every women, depending on how you define chicken head and your own personal beliefs pertaining to the f word.
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