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White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race Paperback – July 18, 2011
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“White Riot—this loud, brilliant collection of rants and critical explosions on race, music, and rebellion—has a radical message that goes far beyond punk: in order to build transformative movements and cultures, we first have to reckon with the riots of our own.”—Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-hop Generation and Who We Be: The Colorization of America
“Verso gives us an engaging collection of political essays about race and representation in punk from critics like Greil Marcus to Paul Simonon of the Clash. The book features photos, lyrics, letters, and accessible articles from musicians and academics concerned about the greater issues in revolutionary music.”—Kathleen Massara, Flavorpill’s 10 Most Anticipated Summer Reads
“It’s a banging pit of engagement, and a shocking reminder that no entire book has ever been dedicated to this subject before.”—Chris Estey, KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle
“White Riot allows us to view race as contested, complex, always both part and all of the person, the movement, and the story. A punk heart that understands the politics of race in this way isn’t ‘pure:’ it’s a messy organ, and it’s still beating.”—Sara Jaffe, Los Angeles Review of Books
“350 pages of interview excerpts, fanzine articles, and academic essays that won’t give you answers so much as give you the power to ask, and consider, even more.”—Chris Terry, Razorcake
About the Author
Stephen Duncombe, an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School of New York University, is the author of Dream and Notes from Underground, editor of the Cultural Resistance Reader, and coeditor (with Maxwell Tremblay) of White Riot.
Maxwell Tremblay writes for Maximumrocknroll, plays drums in the band SLEEPiES, and is a doctoral student in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/MAXWELLTREMBLAY">Follow Maxwell on Twitter</a> (@maxwelltremblay)
James Spooner lives in Los Angeles. He is the director of Afro-Punk.
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--I was shocked reading his 'essay' which is a CLASSIC! A classic? How can one man be the authority when he woefully closed his eyes to realities easily refuted by so many other sources, esp photos and fanzines which contradict most everything he states. He cherry-picked his quotes and thesis based on a ONE movie with a very specific, very narrow POV.
--The way he describes the punks at the Canterbury made me nauseous. MANY of them went onto very productive, accomplished creative lives and careers. They were far from "spoiled brats." Many were abused, neglected, confused, some mentally ill and most using drugs/booze (to self-medicate) who had NOWHERE else to go. Or were exploring their lives between high school and either college, trade school, work, marriage, raising a family.
--I was shocked when I first saw Penelope Spheeris' Decline. I'm in it and some of my most famous, iconic photos of X taken during her filming of that segment. Her film, although true from HER POV, didn't reflect my vast photo archive and personal experiences the previous four yrs, living and documenting the punk lifestyle, genre and scene. There's so much available refuting his feeble, wordy and obtuse essay. Read Slash Magazine and go from there! SHE had access to all the issues but chose to focus on the dark side.
--Those of us who created it, starting around 1976 and by spring/summer 1977, have a vastly different take on what, why and how LA Punk developed. I am SO tired of hearing we were racists or excluded the Other. Our doors were open. Many, many Latinos/Latinas involved, many Jews, many gay young men and women. WE were the Other. he goes on and about the Other. Wassup with that? WE were the rejected ones or rejected following the path society expects from us. At least for awhile, while we explored other CREATIVE options.
--Plus none of us embraced poverty. He went on and on about that. Tell me how we were supposed to make money when writing, photographing, performing and looking like we did and kept the hours we did. Plus many did work, at record stories, for bands, record companies, temp jobs and a wide variety of other jobs (some in the sex trade). He TOTALLY missed the point of living at the Canterbury. I was amazed no mention of the Masque.
--He's made a whole career by projecting HIS fantasies on the scene. Shame on him. Shame on the editors who included more of this tripe. Apparently, not many of the contributors were actually involved in punk back in the day and don't know how to research real facts. Oh well, people only see what THEY want to see. URGH!
Sorry for the diatribe but I become frustrated when I hear theories about history that I have actually lived through. What every 20 something generation has in common is that they know everything and don't realize that their elders actually may know something too.
Enough said - carry on