Is Bill Cosby Right? by Michael Eric Dyson
Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?

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Synopsis

Michael Eric Dyson took America by storm with this provocative expose of the class and generational divide that is tearing black America apart. Nothing exposed the class and generational divide in black America more starkly than Bill Cosby’s now-infamous assault on the black poor when he received an NAACP award in the spring of 2004. The comedian-cum-social critic lamented the lack of parenting, poor academic performance, sexual promiscuity, and criminal behavior among what he called the “knuckleheads” of the African-American community. Even more surprising than his comments, however, was the fact that his audience laughed and applauded. Best-selling writer, preacher, and scholar Michael Eric Dyson uses the Cosby brouhaha as a window on a growing cultural divide within the African-American community. According to Dyson, the “Afristocracy”—lawyers, physicians, intellectuals, bankers, civil rights leaders, entertainers, and other professionals—looks with disdain upon the black poor who make up the “Ghettocracy”—single mothers on welfare, the married, single, and working poor, the incarcerated, and a battalion of impoverished children. Dyson explains why the black middle class has joined mainstream America to blame the poor for their troubles, rather than tackling the systemic injustices that shape their lives. He exposes the flawed logic of Cosby’s diatribe and offers a principled defense of the wrongly maligned black citizens at the bottom of the social totem pole. Displaying the critical prowess that has made him the nation’s preeminent spokesman for the hip-hop generation, Dyson challenges us all—black and white—to confront the social problems that the civil rights movement failed to solve.
 

About Michael Eric Dyson

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Michael Eric Dyson" is an ordained Baptist minister and Ida B. Wells Barnett University Professor at DePaul University. He is the author of "Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X, Between God and Gangsta Rap, " and "Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line." He lives with his family in Chicago.
 
Published July 31, 2008 by Basic Civitas Books. 306 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History. Non-fiction

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Last May, iconic comedian Cosby raised a storm with a dyspeptic rant about the self-destructive failures of the black underclass: "knuckleheads" without parents who "put their clothes o

Apr 25 2005 | Read Full Review of Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has ...

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