First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York, N.Y. : Picador, 2016.
192 pages ; 19 cm
"In his most recent book, Who We Be, Jeff Chang looked at how art and culture effected massive social changes in American society. Since the book was published, the country has been gripped by waves of racial discord, most notably the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. In these highly relevant, powerful essays, Chang examines some of the most contentious issues in the current discussion of race and inequality. Built around a central essay looking at the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the events in Ferguson, Missouri, surrounding the death of Michael Brown, Chang questions the value of "the diversity discussion" in an era of increasing racial and economic segregation. He unpacks the return of student protest across the country and reveals how the debate over inclusion and free speech was presaged by similar protests in the 1980s and 1990s. The author of Can't Stop Won't Stop looks at how culture impacts our understanding of the politics of this polarized moment. Throughout these essays Chang includes the voices of many of the leading activists as he charts how popular voices on the ground and in social media have catalyzed the push for protest and change." -- Provided by publisher.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 169-188).
Other Title:
Introduction : The crisis cycle -- Is diversity for white people? On fearmongering, picture taking, and avoidance -- What a time to be alive : on student protest -- The odds : on cultural equity -- Vanilla cities and their chocolate suburbs : on resegregation -- Hands up : on Ferguson -- The in-betweens : on Asian Americanness -- Conclusion : making lemonade.
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  Library Journal Review

The powerful sentiment "We Gon' Be Alright" has been used by activist Alicia Garza, a cofounder of the Black Lives Matter movement, and by rapper Kendrick Lamar in his Grammy Award-winning song Alright. Journalist and music critic Chang (Can't Stop Won't Stop; Who We Be) continues the spin with this engaging and powerful commentary on America's current race-relations narrative. Chang's essays delve deep, from the segregated history of Ferguson, MO, and St. Louis County to the social unrest that afflicted the nation after the death of Michael Brown in 2014. The author brings historical context to the hashtags #OscarsSoWhite and #NotYourMule, explaining the struggles of underrepresented people in Hollywood. Chang continues by illuminating how gentrification is quietly resegregating neighborhoods and ultimately creating a vast economic divide where black and Latino children remain in poverty-stricken schools. Using Beyoncé's Lemonade to draw his conclusion, Chang invites readers to hope and ponder progress along with what it will take to achieve a freedom for all-empowered with love and grace. VERDICT A timely read for anyone interested in the historical context of our current cultural climate. [See Prepub Alert, 3/14/16.]-Angela Forret, Clive P.L., IA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Chang (Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation) sounds the alarm about the "unmistakable lurch back to resegregation" in several spheres since the late '60s. Each chapter focuses on a different area: higher education practices and policies, campus life, funding for the arts, housing practices and policies, and the criminal justice system. Chang concludes with a challenge to the conventional narrow black/white dichotomy, examining how segregation affects Asian-Americans ("the in-betweens"). As Chang delineates present-day events, he is attentive to historical context; he is at his most provocative, thought-provoking, and informing when laying bare the economic and political structures beneath segregation practices, including the infusion of corporate executives into college management, financial inequities in arts funding, the racial transformation of housing, and the link between local budget revenues and law enforcement practices. His delineation of the "bad loop of history... crisis, reaction, backlash, complacency, crisis" in American race relations constitutes a timely appeal to end a pervasive silence over resegregation. Chang's title is optimistic, but the content of his book is not. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<p> "THE SMARTEST BOOK OF THE YEAR" ( THE WASHINGTON POST ) </p> <p>In these provocative, powerful essays acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang ( Can't Stop Won't Stop, Who We Be ) takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism, We Gon' Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of "diversity," the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity.</p>
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