Download Hip: The History by John Leland PDF

By John Leland

Hip: The History is the tale of the way American popular culture has advanced during the 20th century to its present place as international cultural touchstone. How did hip turn into such an obsession? From intercourse and tune to model and trade, John Leland tracks the arc of rules as they movement from subterranean Bohemia to Madison road and again back. Hip: The History examines how hip has assisted in shaping -- and maintains to steer -- America's view of itself, and gives an incisive account of hip's quest for authenticity.
This P.S. version positive aspects an additional sixteen pages of insights into the booklet, together with writer interviews, urged examining, and extra.

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Sample text

If you view white supremacy as an economic force, as I do, you might also notice that the profits from this entertainment, this conversion of black life into image, went almost entirely into the pockets of white men. But as offensive as the shows were, the sentiments stirred in minstrel theaters were by nature mixed. ” This suggests a recognition of humanity on the part of the white audience, rather than a ritual negation. ” More recently Ishmael Reed praised Amos ’n’ Andy for presenting a broader view of black America than the average ’hood film.

White slave owners, stepping out of their own pasts, forced this same condition on their slaves, erasing their names, languages, religions, nationalities, cultures and family lines. As the country grew dynamically in the 18th and 19th centuries, blacks and whites continued to reinvent themselves, concocting new language to contain their new identities. This was the incipient voice of hip: vulgar, fly, wise, self-made, new. Its liberties challenge the boundaries of race. If you can be what you want, unbound by name or past, what does it mean to be black or white?

Their individualism later replicated itself in the solos of jazz and the blues, in which each player competes within the ensemble, while the group pulls together against the outside world. This action became the hew and haw of hip: binding people together as outsiders, pushing them apart as lone rebels. Along the way, what was purely African or European receded into a cycle of mutual influence. T he blackface minstrel show, which hit the American stage in the 1820s and 1830s, was the purest projection of this ambivalence.

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