Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture

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Broadway Books, Jan 1, 2003 - Psychology - 260 pages
4 Reviews
White kids from the ’burbs are throwing up gang signs. The 2001 Grammy winner for best rap artist was as white as rice. And blond-haired sorority sisters are sporting FUBU gear. What is going on in American culture that’s giving our nation a racial-identity crisis?

Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer’s controversial essay “The White Negro,” Everything but the Burden brings together voices from music, popular culture, the literary world, and the media speaking about how from Brooklyn to the Badlands white people are co-opting black styles of music, dance, dress, and slang. In this collection, the essayists examine how whites seem to be taking on, as editor Greg Tate’s mother used to tell him, “everything but the burden”–from fetishizing black athletes to spinning the ghetto lifestyle into a glamorous commodity. Is this a way of shaking off the fear of the unknown? A flattering indicator of appreciation? Or is it a more complicated cultural exchange? The pieces in Everything but the Burden explore the line between hero-worship and paternalism.

Among the book’s twelve essays are Vernon Reid’s “Steely Dan Understood as the Apotheosis of ‘The White Negro,’” Carl Hancock Rux’s “The Beats: America’s First ‘Wiggas,’” and Greg Tate’s own introductory essay “Nigs ’R Us.”

Other contributors include: Hilton Als, Beth Coleman, Tony Green, Robin Kelley, Arthur Jafa, Gary Dauphin, Michaela Angela Davis, dream hampton, and Manthia diAwara.

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Review: Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture

User Review  - Peter William Warn - Goodreads

Race is a little like literature. We feel it before we can think about it. Our most productive conversations about it involve both our emotions and intellects. The best entries in Everything But the ... Read full review

Review: Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture

User Review  - Donna - Goodreads

This is by no means a light read, but the thought-provoking essays were timely, back when young men were sagging their pants and it was cool to do the jail-house shuffle. It's still worth looking at, because the disparity still exists. Read full review

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Contents

Nigs R Us or How Blackfolk Became Fetish Objects by Greg Tate
1
The New White Negro by Carl Hancock Rux
15
Scenes from Umkovu a play by Eisa Davis
39
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About the author (2003)

A cultural critic for The Village Voice, GREG TATE is also the author of Flyboy in the Buttermilk and contributes regularly to national publications such as Rolling Stone, VIBE, and the New York Times. In addition, he helped found the Black Rock Coalition, produced two albums on his own label, and composed a libretto that was performed at the Apollo Theater. He lives in New York City.

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