When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost : My Life as A Hip Hop Feminist

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9780684822624: When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost : My Life as A Hip Hop Feminist

In this fresh, funky, and irreverent book, a new voice of the post-Civil Rights, post-feminist, post-soul generation has emerged in Joan Morgan: a groundbreaking and unflinching author who probes the complex issues facing African-American women today.

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost is a decidedly intimate look into the life of the modern black woman: a complex world where feminists often have not-so-clandestine affairs with the most sexist of men; where women who treasure their independence often prefer men who pick up the tab; where the deluge of babymothers and babyfathers reminds black women, who long for marriage, that traditional nuclear families are a reality for less than 40 percent of the African-American population; and where black women are forced to make sense of a world where "truth is no longer black and white but subtle, intriguing shades of gray."

Morgan ushers in a voice that, like hip-hop -- the cultural movement that defines her generation -- samples and layers many voices, and injects its sensibilities into the old and flips it into something new, provocative, and powerful.

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Review:

For a smart young black woman from the South Bronx carving a niche for herself as a writer, the f-word was feminism. Joan Morgan's book debut, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, is a passionate, funny--and occasionally self-indulgent--look at the contradictions inherent in being both a strong woman and an African American sister attempting to process the machismo of the hip-hop world through the perceptions of her own strongly feminine soul. "As post-Civil Rights, post-feminist, post-soul children of hip-hop," Morgan writes, "we have a dire need for the truth." Her book chronicles the quest to fulfill that need through a series of essays ranging from social issues like the blatant misogyny of rap music ("From Fly-girls to Bitches and Hos"), the mythic stereotype of the strong black woman ("Strongblackwomen"), and the epidemic of single motherhood in the black community ("Babymother") to wickedly witty takes on her own life ("Lovenotes," "Chickenhead Envy").

Morgan is gifted with that rarest of all talents: her own voice. Her language is vivid and imagistic, its rhythms dipping effortlessly between the beat of the street and the meter of pure poetry. In this look at hood versus womanhood, Morgan serves up many of the same conclusions that sociologists have offered in drier, more academic form--but brings them to life with the freshness of her literary talent. --Patrizia DiLucchio

About the Author:

Joan Morgan began her writing career at The Village Voice. She was a staff writer to Vibe and is presently a contributing writer for Essence. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Editorial: Simon & Schuster (1999)
ISBN 10: 0684822628 ISBN 13: 9780684822624
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