Holler If You Hear Me

Searching for Tupac Shakur

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By Michael Eric Dyson

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$23.99 CAD

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Acclaimed for his writings on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as his passionate defense of black youth culture, Michael Eric Dyson has emerged as the leading African American intellectual of his generation. Now Dyson turns his attention to one of the most enigmatic figures of the past decade: the slain hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur. Five years after his murder, Tupac remains a widely celebrated, deeply loved, and profoundly controversial icon among black youth. Viewed by many as a “black James Dean,” he has attained cult status partly due to the posthumous release of several albums, three movies, and a collection of poetry. But Tupac endures primarily because of the devotion of his loyal followers, who have immortalized him through tributes, letters, songs, and celebrations, many in cyberspace. Dyson helps us to understand why a twenty-five-year-old rapper, activist, poet, actor, and alleged sex offender looms even larger in death than he did in life. With his trademark skills of critical thinking and storytelling, Dyson examines Tupac’s hold on black youth, assessing the ways in which different elements of his persona-thug, confused prophet, fatherless child-are both vital and destructive. At once deeply personal and sharply analytical, Dyson’s book offers a wholly original way of looking at Tupac Shakur that will thrill those who already love the artist and enlighten those who want to understand him.

“In the tradition of jazz saxophonists John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, Dyson riffs with speed, eloquence, bawdy humor, and startling truths that have the effect of hitting you like a Mack truck.”-San Francisco Examiner

“Such is the genius of Dyson. He flows freely from the profound to the profane, from popular culture to classical literature.” — Washington Post<br
“A major American thinker and cultural critic.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

“Among the young black intellectuals to emerge since the demise of the civil rights movement” — undoubtedly the most insightful and thought-provoking is Michael Eric Dyson.” — Manning Marable, Director of African American Studies, Columbia University

  • "Dyson writes, trying to canonize Pac for ghetto sainthood. So let he who has ears, hear, and holler."
    Vibe
  • "Mesmerizing...promises to thrill and surprise even his most avid fans."
    Essence
  • "Dyson plays the role less of biographer or critic than cultural translator, offering thumbnail explanations of tides of black rage, machismo, self-hate, authenticity, and radical activism."
    New York Times
  • "Dyson at his penetrating best."
    Washington Post

On Sale
Sep 5, 2006
Page Count
320 pages
Publisher
Civitas Books
ISBN-13
9780465017287

Michael Eric Dyson

About the Author

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, a widely celebrated professor, a prominent public intellectual, an ordained Baptist minister, and a noted political analyst. He is a two-time NAACP Image Award winner, and the winner of the American Book Award for Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster. His book The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America was a Kirkus Prize finalist. He is the co-author of Unequal with Marc Favreau. He is also a highly sought after public speaker who is known to excite both secular and sacred audiences. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He invites you to follow him on Twitter @michaeledyson and on his official Facebook page (facebook.com/michaelericdyson).

Marc Favreau is the director of editorial programs at the New Press, the acclaimed author of Crash,  Spies, and Attacked!, and coauthor (with Michael Eric Dyson) of Unequal: A Story of America, a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. He lives in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

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