Urbanite Baltimore Magazine reviews Stare in the Darkness

By Baynard Woods
Urbanite Baltimore Magazine

Spence_Stare coverHip-hop is an important cultural force, but its political significance is the source of contentious debate.

Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-Hop and Black Politics, by Lester Spence, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins, brings an abundance of sociological data to a debate generally dominated by passion. Both those who believe that rap lyrics pervert the youth and cause great social harm and those who see it as a powerful political force will be disappointed with Spence's findings: that rap music reproduces neoliberalism for what he calls a black parallel public (seen as different from but parallel to the country as a whole).

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