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November 25, 2020 at 4:43 am #12318Bella HunterGuest
The Nightmare and the Dream
Nas, Jay-Z and the History of Conflict in African-American Culture
by Dax-Devlon Ross
- ISBN: 9780981739816 (0981739814)
- Publisher: Outside the Box Publishing, LLC
- Format: paperback, 361 pages
- Author: Dax-Devlon Ross
- Release date: June 1, 2008
- Language: english
About The Book
America is an idealistic nation. Dreams are realized here. Cultural plurality is celebrated here. Freedom is cherished here. But America is also a place where all those who seek to fulfill the promise of opportunity aren’t embraced equally; where prejudice has been institutionalized, codified and thereby legitimized; where the freedoms that mark a democratic society have been stripped from far too many for there not to be an outcry of injustice. This is the contradiction of America itself-what draws us to love and loathe the nation, drives us to seek refuge either within (assimilation) or at a distance (separation) and caused us to embrace the Dream or dwell on the Nightmare. For more than a century this “either/or” dilemma has consumed black America and kept the race at odds, the more so because it has mutated time and time again. The assimilationism preached by Frederick Douglas became the gospel of accommodation under Booker T. Washington which can be traced to King’s integrationist Dream before being re-mixed in BIG’s post-integrationist hyper-materialism. Simultaneously, Alexander Crummell’s romanticist Black Nationalism inspired Du Bois’s idealistic radicalism which gave way to Garvey’s Black Zionism which sparked Malcolm’s militant Black Nationalist ministry and arose again in Tupac’s post-integrationist, post-Black Power resistance. Over time, black America’s social, cultural, aesthetic and political psyche was systematically shaped by the conflicting world views offered by the two dominant, dynamic icons. The result is what can be called the “Dyad Syndrome,” an instinctual and habitual obsession with conflict. Tracing the evolution and transformation of the dilemma through the movements, myths and moments that shaped black America and the Hip-Hop generation in the 20th century, The Nightmare and The Dream compellingly argues that the battle between Nas and Jay-Z at the turn of the new millennium was the latest in a long line of creative conflicts between complex, oppositional black icons. An absorbing voyage through time and rhyme, Nightmare situates the ideas and imagery of two of hip-hop’s most intriguing, innovative and controversial icons alongside the most mythologized figures in African-American history. In doing so, this ground-breaking book explains how their truce should be read as the Hip-Hop generation’s response to the tradition of conflict that has heretofore defined black creative thought. Just as previous generations have rescued their heroes from worshippers and cynics alike, Nightmare liberates these two artist-icons from the manacles of mindless misinterpretation by bringing some real and well-earned rigor to an analysis of their careers.
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