Reiland RabakaFeb 19, 2013
Hip Hop's Amnesia
From Blues and the Black Women's Club Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Movement
Lexington Books 2012
In Hip Hop's Amnesia: From Blues and the Black Women's Club Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Movement (Lexington Books, 2012), the second installment of his hip hop trilogy, Reiland Rabaka again discusses, in great detail, many of the essential historical, musical, aesthetical, political, and cultural movements and moments of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first African America. Building on his overtly Africana, feminist, and queer critical theoretical analyses of black movements in Hip Hop's Inheritance (the first installment), Rabaka uses a more comparative historical eye in this book to show how (A) there are many aspects of early blues, jazz, bebop, and soul musical movements, especially as they related to other political and cultural movements of their times, that can inform us as to the place of modern rap and neo-soul movements and their relationships with other modern cultural and political movements, and (B) the modern hip hop movement (musical and otherwise) can benefit from an understanding of the ways actors in these other movements (musical and otherwise) dealt with situations similar to their own. In this way, Rabaka passionately argues, rap music can take its rightful political, aesthetic, and cultural place in the ongoing historical struggle of African Americans (men and women, straight and gay) to overthrow the bonds of oppression that have characterized their experiences in U.S. society. Reiland Rabaka is associate professor of African, African American, and Caribbean studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Humanities Program and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is also an affiliate professor in the Women and Gender studies Program and a research fellow at the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America. He is the author of ten books, including Against Epistemic Apartheid, Du Bois's Dialectics, and the forthcoming third installment of his Hip Hop trilogy, The Hip Hop Movement. Click here to listen to my previous interview with Rabaka about Hip Hop's Inheritance.