by Dax-Devlon Ross
To buy on Amazon.com click here
Book Review by Dan Tres Omi
In the last several years, there have been quite a few healthy tomes written about hip hop culture. Unfortunately, a large portion of that bunch tends to place hip hop culture outside of Black culture. Much of what is written about hip hop culture seems to remove it from the context of Black history particularly. Of course they point out how hip hop is a Black and Latino manifestation of an oppressed creativity but they leave it at that. There is no connection made to the Black Arts movement or the Black Freedom Rights struggle of the fifties, sixties, and the seventies. Dax Devlon Ross, a prolific and independent writer, brings it all home in The Nightmare and the Dream.
In one book, Ross summarizes points made in Harold Cruse’s classic The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, W.E.B. DuBois’ Souls of Black Folk, and Dean E. Robinson’s Black Nationalism in American Politics. What makes The Nightmare… stand out is how Ross connects the dots to Black Nationalism and hip hop culture. Using the Hegelian dialectic, Ross uses Nas and Jay Z as his subjects when discussing the internal conflict in Black America between Black Nationalism and assimilation. Like Robinson, Ross does a careful deconstruction of Black leadership in the United States. He does a wonderful job of explaining DuBois’ double consciousness, but Ross does not stop there.
Read the rest of this entry »