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nonfiction - analysis from interviews with over 40 individual Black people on political ideology, with a focus on those that are becoming more disillusioned with the Democratic party after it's become clear that their votes are taken for granted and their interests are ignored, as well as the author's own experiences and feelings about her own political identity, the passing of her late father, and thoughts on inherited trauma.

Really interesting, not to mention critically important. A slower read; takes some time to digest all the information, but picks up a little after the second chapter or so; the author also injects a good amount of her own humor on what otherwise would be a pretty serious book. I didn't find her anecdotal story to be convincing proof of inherited trauma (depression doesn't always result from external factors, I think it is sometimes literally just a chemical imbalance) but other authors (possibly Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped, Johnnie Christmas' Swim Team touches on it a little, definitely Caleb Gayle's We Refuse to Forget, to name just a few works worth reading)

reader1009 | 1 outra resenha | Oct 17, 2022 |
Black Skinhead, by Brandi Collins-Dexter, is a refreshing and honest attempt to both understand and project into the future the variety of Black political thought.

There is a tendency among white political pundits to conflate the monolithic voting habits of the Black community with Black political thought and ideas. The Democratic party has largely taken this for granted and, without living up to most of their promises, assumed the votes would still be there. This complacency, to put it nicely, has made many voters choose to simply not vote while others feel more aligned with the GOP. In large part, seeing a number of Black Trump supporters led Collins-Dexter to delve into exactly why. What she discovered actually made sense even if it was still bothersome.

The ideas and concerns of the majority of voters she spoke with were very similar, it was what they were going to do about it that illustrates the fractured (fracturing?) state of Black community. Using popular culture, from music to professional wrestling (no, really! and it works!), we see how where there used to be debate and conflict but ultimately a coming together for the common good there is now the same siloing of people into their own worlds. Without the same type of community, across class and income levels, the common good that a community could agree on becomes many often-oppositional ideas of good. Most individuals are still thinking of the good of the Black community but without actual places (physical or virtual) where different viewpoints can be contested, a consensus can't be reached. Thus the shattering vision of a group of excited MAGA hat wearing young Black people.

My attempt at summarizing is likely lacking in nuance, but the book does a much better job. Don't hold my poor wording against the book.

I was especially intrigued by her analyses of popular culture. I personally think her assessment of what Kanye West "meant" by a couple of his comments is giving a little more credit to him than he deserves. I think he may have had a vague notion of what she fleshes out, but how she interprets it is where the real power comes from. I also found her explanation and contextualizing of drill music to be eye-opening. I was barely aware of it and had no context previously, so this was all new to me.

Her personal stories, especially those involving her father, really helped to make this a phenomenal work. Weaving the personal and the political, the local and the national, even the rural and the urban (and suburban). I want to come back to this book again in a couple months of letting the ideas ferment and see what my new takeaways will be.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
pomo58 | 1 outra resenha | Sep 7, 2022 |
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