The Assassination of the Black Male Image

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Author
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Author Simon & Schuster $21 (208p) ISBN 978-0-684-83100-8
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-684-83657-7
Paperback - 152 pages - 978-1-881032-11-3
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""The myth of the malevolent black male is based on a durable and time-resistant bedrock of myths, half-truths and lies,"" declares Hutchinson (The Presidential Betrayal of African-Americans). He criticizes media portrayals of black men, derisive code words used about black athletes and the media buzz over Waiting to Exhale's nasty portrayal of black men. Perhaps because the author is also a columnist and radio commentator, he skates briefly through his arguments; a few of his chapters (on Tina Turner, for example), stray from his thesis, and others include errors (The End of Racism did not become a bestseller). Hutchinson criticizes black males for using the word nigger. However, though he argues credibly that black violence is the product of a violent and poverty-ridden society, Hutchinson doesn't acknowledge that the problem of the underclass is both an economic and a spiritual/behavioral issue. Still, his advice is helpful. He suggests that readers persuade the media to cover the full spectrum of black life, not merely crime/violence/""hood"" stories; he urges them to boycott music, videos and comedians, etc. who demean black images and to buy ""positive black-oriented products"" from black-owned stores and organizations. Author tour. (Sept.)
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