People interested in hip hop and its role in African American culture may want to check out Know What I Mean?: Reflections on Hip Hop by Michael Eric Dyson. Book TV had a special three hour interview with Dyson recently, and I was fortunate to catch snippets of it yesterday morning. You can see the entire interview here.
I've read Dyson's book "I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.," and while I was not too impressed with his King book--the "true" story seemed to conflict with virtually everything else I had read about King--Dyson had a pretty amazing interview with Book TV. In the interview, Dyson talks about Bill Cosby's relationship with black America, he talks about sexism in the African American community, and he talks about how he feels hip hop brings stories of urban black America to the masses. In the course of the interview, he talks about an ongoing philosophical disagreement with fellow author John McWhorter over Cosby and the role of hip hop, and he addresses ongoing issues within the black community.
I was amazed not only at Dyson's mastery of the subject of hip hop, which he demonstrates in the interview by rapping whole stanzas of Tupac by memory, but I was also amazed at the number of books on Mr. Dyson's lengthy resume. He has 16 books with some very interesting titles. Check this out:
Some of his titles:
Holler if You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur
Why I Love Black Women
Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster
Check him out, and if you have any ideas after reading him, please feel free to share your thoughts here.