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White Negroes


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Explores how trends started in black communities are co-opted then turned into white profit and how this appropriation continues to uphold economic, political, and social inequality.

About the Author

Lauren Michele Jackson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago, and contributing editor at The New Inquiry and Real Life. Her writing about race and online culture has appeared in The Atlantic, Teen Vogue, The Awl, Buzzfeed, Hazlitt, In Media Res, Inside Higher Ed, and Feminist Media Studies. In addition to her work as an essayist and critic, her poetry has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, The Journal, Spoon River, and Up the Staircase Quarterly.


"Jackson is uncompromising in her bold language, palpable in her outrage; she keeps her razor-sharp analysis in an accessible but academic register."
--Publishers Weekly

"A revelatory, well-argued work of cultural criticism."
--Kirkus Reviews "A thoughtful addition to social science and African American studies collections."
--Library Journal "Incisive and richly detailed. A vital text--one that offers new ways of seeing, hearing, and consuming."
--Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us "White Negroes is a mature meditation for debates that have, at times, wallowed in their own intellectual infancy. The collection is witty, wry, and welcome. In the vein of Imani Perry and Zoe Samudzi, this book is an excellent addition to critical thinking about culture and contemporary racial orders"
--Tressie McMillan Cottom, author of Thick and Lower Ed "Lauren Jackson takes a topic you've heard debated ad nauseam on social media and breathes much-needed new life into it. White Negroes is engaging and laced with wit and intelligence."
--Ira Madison III, writer and podcast host "Miraculously, Lauren Michele Jackson is able to write about cultural appropriation in a way that doesn't make you want to drink a glass of sand. She brings incredible nuance and a sharp critical voice to a discussion that has sorely lacked both--yet somehow emerges with a text that is as accessible as it is theoretically relevant. Jackson avoids platitudes and easy answers, has a keen eye for history and popular culture, and, moreover, she is funny."
--Eve L. Ewing, author of Electric Arches and Ghosts in the Schoolyard "With language laced with critical clarity, tempered outrage, radical snark, and researched detail, Lauren Michele Jackson's White Negroes . . . eruditely connects the dots between such disparate phenomena of the modern racial age as Eminem, Christina Aguilera, Kim Kardashian, Rachel Dolezal, the fashion and cosmetic industries, the Whitney Biennial, and the appropriation of 'Bye Felisha.' In so doing, Jackson makes us wiser and even more disturbed about how much stolen Black imaging and ideations matter to the cultural, political, and economic maintenance of the nation's anti-Black status quo."
--Greg Tate, author of Flyboy in the Buttermilk and editor of Everything but the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture

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