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Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America Hardcover – October 21, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Who We Be confirms the singular brilliance of Jeff Chang...Here is the story of us, from the bottom up, the top down, and side-to-side - an astoundingly astute collage of forgotten battles brought to light and watershed events made new by Chang's analysis. Who We Be is essential reading - not this season or this year, but until the audacity of post-racism kicks in. Which won't be happening anytime soon.” ―Adam Mansbach, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rage is Back and Go the F*ck to Sleep

“With Who We Be Jeff Chang has emerged as a premier chronicler of the broad and unruly narrative of American culture. His characteristically deft prose, broad perspective and incisive observations make this is an essential chronicle of the past three decades of American cultural history. Who We Be is a brilliant brief on who we've been all along.” ―Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress; Director of the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Connecticut

“Jeff Chang writes with necessary fire about the things that matter. Who We Be is a compassionate, clear-eyed book, an exciting contribution to the history of our present moment. I know of no better account of the glories and sorrows of contemporary American diversity, nor any so attuned to the outsized role that art has played in that journey.” ―Teju Cole, author of Open City

“In 2005, Jeff Chang wrote the Hip Hop book none of us saw coming, but all
of us wished we'd written. Many of us spent a decade trying to catch up. Who We Be smashes assumptions of postracialism and multiculturalism into hundreds of prickly pieces...(It) cradles the personal, communal, institutional and structural while ultimately showing us how to rebuild each with a bit more honesty and integrity. This is the book we've been waiting for.” ―
Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

“A new book by Jeff Chang is always a cause for celebration. His voice is unique, and his issues are our issues: this changing America, this complicated, polyglot future that some are already living in, while some are fighting to tear apart. Who We Be is an important, timely book, and it's also a terrific read.” ―Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles

About the Author

Jeff Chang's first book was the award-winning Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. He has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and was named by The Utne Reader one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World." He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin's Press (October 21, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0312571291
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0312571290
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 3.15 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.81 x 1.3 x 9.33 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 44 ratings

About the author

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Jeff Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music.

His first book, Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, garnered many honors, including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He edited the book, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop.

Who We Be: The Colorization of America (St. Martin's Press) was released on October 2014 to critical acclaim. It was published in paperback in January 2016 under the new title, Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America (Picador).

His latest book, We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation (Picador), was published in September 2016. His next project is a biography of Bruce Lee (Little, Brown).

Jeff has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and a winner of the North Star News Prize. He was named by The Utne Reader as one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” by KQED as an Asian Pacific American Local Hero, and by the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts as one of its 2016 YBCA 100 list of those “shaping the future of American culture.” With H. Samy Alim, he was the 2014 winner of the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award at Stanford University.

Jeff co-founded CultureStr/ke and ColorLines. He has written for The Guardian, Slate, The Nation, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, Foreign Policy, N+1, Mother Jones, Salon, and Buzzfeed, among many others.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i, he is a graduate of ‘Iolani School, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

He serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.

Visit him at jeffchang.net or facebook.com/jeffchangwriter

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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