Writer Says That Hip-Hop Is Holding African-Americans Back

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Author Thomas Chatterton Williams, has book, “Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture,” out where he claimed that hip-hop music is detrimental to African-Americans. Here was interviewed by Angel Woodall for the Oakland Tribune, here are some excerpts:

The stakes are higher, he said, because racism and now hip-hop have limited what it means to be black by insisting on one measure: street culture as embodied by Biggie Smalls and Jay-Z.

Jay-Z, who once rapped, “I dumb down my lyrics to double my dollars,” is one form of blackness, Williams said. “But why does he set the tone for black culture today? It’s tragic.”

The irony is that young men have a better chance of being like President Barack Obama than a rap star, Williams said. From Oakland to New Jersey, they will

sabotage their future just for the sake of trying to be like their millionaire entertainment idols. The dynamic, Williams said, “has quietly taken the place of white racism as the most formidable obstacle to success and equality in the black middle classes.

While writing “Losing My Cool,” Williams said he realized how easily he “could have become a statistic.” He credits his parents with helping him to break the “python grip” of bad role models and what he called a “relentless and powerful propaganda campaign that steamed into the house 24/7.

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