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Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?

Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?
Author: Michael Eric Dyson
ISBN 13: 9780465017201
ISBN 10: 465017207
Edition: First Printing
Publisher: Basic Civitas Books
Publication Date: 2006-01-24
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $16.99

The best-selling book that sparked a national debate about the class divide in black America

Publishers Weekly

Last May, iconic comedian Cosby raised a storm with a dyspeptic rant about the self-destructive failures of the black underclass: "knuckleheads" without parents who "put their clothes on backward," speak bad English and go to jail. To pop culture intellectual Dyson-author of books on Marvin Gaye, Tupac Shakur and Martin Luther King Jr.-this was the most blatant manifestation of an attitude shared by the "Afristocracy." With empathy and energy, Dyson takes Cosby at his word and dissects his arguments-as well as the comedian's own conduct-in order to combat Afristocratic dogma. While Dyson is merciless in assessing both, he takes the opportunity to explore a host of hot-button issues in black culture, from illegitimacy to faux African names, citing data and making his own case for black culture as adapted to a dominant white society that systematically puts up barriers to opportunity. The prolific Dyson has already generated controversy with what finally amounts to an evisceration of a major black figure, but that seems to be precisely the point. Despite the specificity and ferocity of Dyson's critique (which draws on allegations that Cosby sexually abused a woman and fathered an illegitimate child, and understates the race politics of The Cosby Show), Cosby ends up more of a straw man than take-down victim, as Dyson celebrates the "persistent freedom of black folk." 12-city author tour; 40-city radio satellite tour. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.