Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond

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Named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews
A New York Times Editor’s Choice

Nautilus Award Winner

“A worthy and necessary addition to the contemporary canon of civil rights literature.” —New York Times

In this “thought-provoking and important” (Library Journal) analysis of state-sanctioned violence, Marc Lamont Hill carefully considers a string of high-profile deaths in America—Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and others—and incidents of gross negligence by government, such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He digs underneath these events to uncover patterns and policies of authority that allow some citizens become disempowered, disenfranchised, poor, uneducated, exploited, vulnerable, and disposable. To help us understand the plight of vulnerable communities, he examines the effects of unfettered capitalism, mass incarceration, and political power while urging us to consider a new world in which everyone has a chance to become somebody. Heralded as an essential text for our times, Marc Lamont Hill’s galvanizing work embodies the best traditions of scholarship, journalism, and storytelling to lift unheard voices and to address the necessary question, “how did we get here?"
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About the author

Marc Lamont Hill is an award-winning journalist and host of BET News, as well as a political contributor to CNN. He is a Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Temple University. He lives in Atlanta and New York City.

Todd Brewster is a longtime journalist who has worked as an editor for Time and Life and as a senior producer for ABC News. He is the coauthor with the late Peter Jennings of the bestselling books The Century, The Century for Young People, and In Search of America, and the author of Lincoln's Gamble.

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4.6
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jul 26, 2016
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781501124976
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Policy
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Social Science / Social Classes & Economic Disparity
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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For over a decade, educators have looked to capitalize on the appeal of hip-hop culture, sampling its language, techniques, and styles as a way of reaching out to students. But beyond a fashionable hipness, what does hip-hop have to offer our schools? In this revelatory new book, Marc Lamont Hill shows how a serious engagement with hip-hop culture can affect classroom life in extraordinary ways. Based on his experience teaching a hip-hop–centered English literature course in a Philadelphia high school, and drawing from a range of theories on youth culture, identity, and educational processes, Hill offers a compelling case for the power of hip-hop in the classroom. In addition to driving up attendance and test performance, Hill shows how hip-hop–based educational settings enable students and teachers to renegotiate their classroom identities in complex, contradictory, and often unpredictable ways.

“One of the most profound, searching, and insightful studies of what happens to the identities and worldviews of high school students who are exposed to a hip-hop curriculum."
—Michael Eric Dyson, author, Can You Hear Me Now?

“Hill’s book is a beautifully written reminder that the achievement gaps that students experience may be more accurately characterized as cultural gaps—between them and their teachers (and the larger society). This is a book that helps us see the power and potential of pedagogy.”
—From the Foreword by Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life offers a vibrant, rigorous, and comprehensive analysis of hip-hop culture as an effective pedagogy, cultural politics, and a mobilizing popular form. This book is invaluable for anyone interested in hip-hop culture, identity, education, and youth.”
—Henry Giroux, McMaster University

“This book marks the time where our modern literature changes from entertainment to education. A study guide for our next generation using the modern day struggle into manhood and beyond.”
—M-1 from dead prez

The New York Times bestseller
A New York Times Notable and Critics’ Top Book of 2016
Longlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction
One of NPR's 10 Best Books Of 2016 Faced Tough Topics Head On
NPR's Book Concierge Guide To 2016’s Great Reads
San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2016: 100 recommended books
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2016
Globe & Mail 100 Best of 2016

“Formidable and truth-dealing . . . necessary.” —The New York Times

“This eye-opening investigation into our country’s entrenched social hierarchy is acutely relevant.” —O Magazine

In her groundbreaking  bestselling history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg upends history as we know it by taking on our comforting myths about equality and uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash.
 
“When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg.

The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement to today's hillbillies. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds.
 
Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics–-a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ’s Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity.
 
We acknowledge racial injustice as an ugly stain on our nation’s history. With Isenberg’s landmark book, we will have to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class as well.
This book brings together veteran and emerging scholars from a variety of fields to chart new territory for hip-hop based education. Looking beyond rap music and the English language arts classroom, innovative chapters unpack the theory and practice of hip-hop based education in science, social studies, college composition, teacher education, and other fields. Authors consider not only the curricular aspects of hip-hop but also how its deeper aesthetics such as improvisational freestyling and competitive battling can shape teaching and learning in both secondary and higher education classrooms. Schooling Hip-Hop will spark new and creative uses of hip-hop culture in a variety of educational settings.

Contributors: Jacqueline Celemencki, Christopher Emdin, H. Bernard Hall, Decoteau J. Irby, Bronwen Low, Derek Pardue, James Braxton Peterson, David Stovall, Eloise Tan, and Joycelyn A. Wilson

“Hip hop has come of age on the broader social and cultural scene. However, it is still in its infancy in the academy and school classrooms. Hill and Petchauer have assembled a powerful group of scholars who provide elegantly theoretical and practically significant ways to consider hip hop as an important pedagogical strategy. This volume is a wonderful reminder that ‘Stakes is high!’”
—Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“This book is a bold, ambitious attempt to chart new intellectual, theoretical, and pedagogical directions for Hip-Hop Based Education. Hill and Petchauer are to be commended for pushing the envelope and stepping up to the challenge of taking HHBE to the next level.”
—Geneva Smitherman, University Distinguished Professor Emerita, English and African American and African Studies, Michigan State University

For over a decade, educators have looked to capitalize on the appeal of hip-hop culture, sampling its language, techniques, and styles as a way of reaching out to students. But beyond a fashionable hipness, what does hip-hop have to offer our schools? In this revelatory new book, Marc Lamont Hill shows how a serious engagement with hip-hop culture can affect classroom life in extraordinary ways. Based on his experience teaching a hip-hop–centered English literature course in a Philadelphia high school, and drawing from a range of theories on youth culture, identity, and educational processes, Hill offers a compelling case for the power of hip-hop in the classroom. In addition to driving up attendance and test performance, Hill shows how hip-hop–based educational settings enable students and teachers to renegotiate their classroom identities in complex, contradictory, and often unpredictable ways.

“One of the most profound, searching, and insightful studies of what happens to the identities and worldviews of high school students who are exposed to a hip-hop curriculum."
—Michael Eric Dyson, author, Can You Hear Me Now?

“Hill’s book is a beautifully written reminder that the achievement gaps that students experience may be more accurately characterized as cultural gaps—between them and their teachers (and the larger society). This is a book that helps us see the power and potential of pedagogy.”
—From the Foreword by Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life offers a vibrant, rigorous, and comprehensive analysis of hip-hop culture as an effective pedagogy, cultural politics, and a mobilizing popular form. This book is invaluable for anyone interested in hip-hop culture, identity, education, and youth.”
—Henry Giroux, McMaster University

“This book marks the time where our modern literature changes from entertainment to education. A study guide for our next generation using the modern day struggle into manhood and beyond.”
—M-1 from dead prez

This book brings together veteran and emerging scholars from a variety of fields to chart new territory for hip-hop based education. Looking beyond rap music and the English language arts classroom, innovative chapters unpack the theory and practice of hip-hop based education in science, social studies, college composition, teacher education, and other fields. Authors consider not only the curricular aspects of hip-hop but also how its deeper aesthetics such as improvisational freestyling and competitive battling can shape teaching and learning in both secondary and higher education classrooms. Schooling Hip-Hop will spark new and creative uses of hip-hop culture in a variety of educational settings.

Contributors: Jacqueline Celemencki, Christopher Emdin, H. Bernard Hall, Decoteau J. Irby, Bronwen Low, Derek Pardue, James Braxton Peterson, David Stovall, Eloise Tan, and Joycelyn A. Wilson

“Hip hop has come of age on the broader social and cultural scene. However, it is still in its infancy in the academy and school classrooms. Hill and Petchauer have assembled a powerful group of scholars who provide elegantly theoretical and practically significant ways to consider hip hop as an important pedagogical strategy. This volume is a wonderful reminder that ‘Stakes is high!’”
—Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“This book is a bold, ambitious attempt to chart new intellectual, theoretical, and pedagogical directions for Hip-Hop Based Education. Hill and Petchauer are to be commended for pushing the envelope and stepping up to the challenge of taking HHBE to the next level.”
—Geneva Smitherman, University Distinguished Professor Emerita, English and African American and African Studies, Michigan State University

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