Annotated Bibliography on Hip Hop

Annotated Bibliography

These are Some Sources I Have Used
In My Writings On
Hip Hop and Race

(upcoming additions Hip Hop Literacies by Elaine Richardson; The Hip Hop Reader; Global Linguistic Flows)

Alex-Assensoh and Lawrence Hanks, eds. Black and Multiracial Politics in America.

New York: NY University Press, 2000.

An introduction to political concerns within the Black community with much quantitative data.  My focus here is on the introduction of the book which points out statistical information on White and minority population within major “melting-pot metropolitan areas” in the U.S.  Including a short discussion on the essentializing nature of the traditional black-white color line that dilutes the diversity within the Black community.

Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 2nd ed. San Fransisco:

Aunt Lute, 1999.

Examines the author’s identity as a racially mixed woman and discusses her “multiple” selves in the context of her existence as a “borderland.”  The focus is on race and ethnicity and Anzaldua complicates her mestizaje in a world that looks for simple divisions among races.

Banks, Adam J. Race, Rhetoric and Technology

A look into the Digital Divide that separates American minorities, particularly African Americans, from the white, middle and upper class population who have much greater access to technological advances.  Banks calls for African Americans to be allowed the same physical and critical access to technologies and believes this is critical to closing the social and economic gap between poor minorities and middle and upper class white citizens.

Bhabha, Homi. “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse.”

Race Critical Theories Ed.Philomena Essed and David Theo Goldberg. Malden: Blackwell, 2002.

A central discussion is that on the progression of subaltern groups from a state of mimicry to one of mockery and ultimately menace.  The final stage, menace, is where oppressed groups have learned the dominant system and begin to undermine and challenge it.  Bhabha states that even though oppressed groups may strongly challenge dominant structures they are still seen as “almost but not white.”

Campbell, Kermit. “gettin’ our groove on.” Detroit: Wayne University Press, 2005.

An in-depth look at the Hip Hop generation from a rhetorical point of view.  Campbell is concerned with legitimizing the language of the Hip Hop generation, its history and its future.  Mixing academic English with Hip Hop vernacular, the author moves from a discussion of Black Vernacular history to “professing the power of the Rap.”  Using insights from Rhetoric and Composition and Linguistics, Campbell tackles specific Hip Hop language and ethos to create a work that does much to undermine the notion that Hip Hop vernacular is a rhetoric without a past or a powerful future.

CNN. “Mexican Leader Criticized for Comment on Blacks.” 15 May 2005.


Short news article about a comment made by Mexican President Vicente Fox in 2005 regarding the status of Mexican workers in the United States.  Highlights Fox’s comment that Mexicans were going to the United States to do jobs that not even Blacks would do, which due criticism from Jesse Jackson.

Essed, Philomena. “Everyday Racism.” Race Critical Theories Eds. Philomena Essed

And David Theo Goldberg. Malden: Blackwell, 2002.

A discussion of the perpetuation of racist notions in the “everyday” practices of people which active underlying racial and power relations.  The main claim is that it is individual, everyday acts that are central to the creation and continuance of racist ideologies.  While racism can still be connected to system structures, the focal point is specific situations of racism.

Hall, Stuart. “Race, Articulation, and Societies Structured by Dominance.”

Race Critical Theories Ed.Philomena Essed and David Theo Goldberg. Malden: Blackwell, 2002.

Develops the notion of “articulation” which complicates the notion of racism and states that racism can only be understood in a complex “bringing together/articulation” of economic how to write a thesis and social theories.  Has as a theoretical basis social theories of Althusser and Gramsci.

Heldke, Linda. Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a Food Adventure. New York:

Routledge, 2003.

Focuses on the “othering” of ethnic foods with a focus on the influence of attitudes on action.  Heldke proposes that attitudes are not simply mental occurrences but directly influence actions towards other racial groups.

Horne, Gerald. Black and Brown: African Americans and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-

1920. New York: NY University Press, 2005.

A look into early interactions between U.S. Blacks and Mexico with an emphasis on events such as the level of violence in the borderlands of Texas; Black troopers being used to deter attacks from Mexico; Blacks being used as a “battering ram” against Native Americans; and the “Plan of San Diego” which focused on Mexico’s, Japan’s and Germany’s efforts to make African Americans allies in their cause.  Also a discussion of how foreign powers helped create “class-based” movements among Blacks and Mexicans in the United States.

Hutchinson, Earl Ofari. “United for Underclass Rights.” Alternet. 6 April 2006.


Discusses Martin Luther King’s wish for Latinos and African Americans to work together during the Civil Rights Movement, specifically in the planning and implementation of the Poor People’s March.  The author explains how King was virtually a lone voice in expressing the desire for this solidarity, and feels that an alliance can and should be formed between the two groups.

Kalb, Claudia. “In Our Blood.” Newsweek 6 February 2006 47-55.

Article focused on the Genetic “story” of the United States, illustrating the movement of peoples throughout time towards the Americas.  Also highlights a number of sources for tracking genealogical lineage and how seemingly unrelated individuals share a common ancestral past.  Focuses on genealogical, anthropological and biological findings.

McGrath, David. American Conservative. 19 December 2005.

Discusses how South Central Los Angeles has ushered in a new era of racial tension between blacks and Hispanics.  Points to racial riots in high schools and pinpoints the fact that South Central Los Angeles has changed from a African American majority population to a Hispanic majority population in the past fifteen years.

Mao, LuMing “Rhetorical Borderlands: Chinese American Rhetoric in the Making”

College Composition and Communication. 56:3 (Feb 2005).

A look at the interaction between Chinese rhetoric and Western rhetoric which is said to occur within a “borderland” and which creates a new space where each rhetoric lives in “togetherness-in-difference.”  The concept of Chinese “face” is discussed and compared to the concept of “face” in Western/Anglo rhetoric, each with its distinct characteristics that join to help form an Asian-American rhetoric.  Major differences between Chinese and Anglo/European rhetoric are also highlighted.

Omi, Michael and Howard Winant. “Racial Formation.” Race Critical Theories Ed.

Philomena Essed and David Theo Goldberg. Malden: Blackwell, 2002.

Shows how the United States has evolved from a racial dictatorship to a racial democracy and now to racial hegemony.  Also points to “racial projects” as the ideological work that creates and fights against racial formation and its consequences.  Discusses how white culture is always seen as the norm and how minorities are essentialized in American culture.

Pratt, Mary Louise. “Arts of the Contact Zone.” Profession 91. New York: MLA,

1991. 33-40.

Discusses the dynamics of “contact zones” where racial groups can and do grapple with one another.  This interaction can be studied and used to illustrate realties between racially diverse communities.

Stein, Rob. “Race Gap Persists in Health Care, Three Studies Say” Washington Post

Online 18 August 2005 Washington Post

Summarizes three studies that showed the continued gap that exist in the health

care field between minorities and the white population.

Trimbur, John.  “Literacy and the Discourse of Crisis.”  The Politics of Writing

Instruction: Postsecondary. Ed. Richard Bullock, John Trimbur, and Charles Schuster.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 1991.  277-295.

A discussion of how “literacy crises” arise throughout American history and are a direct result of upper and middle class preoccupations with slipping back into the linguistic, cultural and economic realities of the lower class.  Trimbur also highlights the development of three literacy crises in American history and how American schools are blamed for not reaching exceedingly higher levels of literacy.  At a rhetorical level, those that are not writing Standard English at a level viewed appropriate by the middle class (including much input from the media) are seen as lacking, resulting in a literacy crisis that attempts to enact strategies that will improve literacy levels.

West, Cornell. “Genealogy of Racism.” Race Critical Theories Ed. Philomena Essed

and David Theo Goldberg. Malden: Blackwell, 2002.

Points to the historical development of racism from the 1600s when science became authoritative, through the development of natural history in the 1700s which divided humans into racial groups, to pseudo-sciences such as phrenology and physiognomy to the racist notions of Enlightenment thinkers such as Kant and Hume.  A central term is “normative gaze” which is place upon minorities by the dominant culture and which oppresses those groups because they are not the dominant “norm.”


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