April Book Review: The Hip Hop Generation by Bakari Kitwana


Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture, The Hip Hop Generation By: Bakari Kitwana

We have reviewed works by Bakari Kitwana in previous months and it is always a pleasure. After reading this book I definitely consider myself a member of the “Hip Hop generation” and the bright orange cover with a photo of a young Black male is sure to draw the attention of others. Although the book was written in 2002 it can still be used as a great conversation starter for a young reader or those of us who are young at heart. This book does not shy away from topics such as policing, prison reform, media, and politics. This book analyzes public policies that place Black-Americans in the social and economic hole of North America. This book explores cultural identity and activism and how Black-Americans have been left out or stripped of our culture while suffering the consequences of being an activist.

Obviously any book you read should have references so the statistics presented in this book are already alarming so to think that some of the numbers shared have escalated since then is heartbreaking. This work by Kitwana, like previous works, details where the U.S. wronged Black-Americans and how it has affected our community. The book is broken down into two parts with the first five chapters being in Part I and the last three chapters are under Part II, or what I like to call the solutions. Part II, is where the solutions come into play. Solutions are a big part of educating the Hip Hop community on our Four Initiatives. You shouldn’t complain or voice your opinion on something if you are not going to present or be part of the solution. The book talks about how to develop a political strategy for the Black community in order for us to take steps closer towards equality, if that’s what you want.

I enjoyed this book and I think it would be a great addition to social studies, economics, and history classes. It is also a great addition to any book collection or library. If you want to make a difference in the social, economic, and political realms for Black-Americans then read this book and take a few things with you when you start working for the Black community as a member of the Hip Hop generation. Whether you were there in the seventies when the culture first came on the scene or born in the early eighties when Hip Hop Culture took on a lot of pitfalls and successes we are all experiencing the crisis in our culture and communities, even in 2016.

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