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Everything But the Burden

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
White kids from the 'burbs are throwing up gang signs. The 2001 Grammy winner for best rap artist was as white as rice. And blond-haired sorority sisters are sporting FUBU gear. What is going on inAmerican culture that's giving our nation a racial-identity crisis?
Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer's controversial essay "The WhiteNegro," "Everything but the Burden
ebook, 272 pages
Published January 14th 2003 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Aug 10, 2009 Mateo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A while back I went to see Medicine for Melancholy, a film about two African Americans who have a one-night stand in San Francisco, and afterward joined a small group of strangers in the lobby who were discussing the movie. Among us was a white woman in her 70s, a doctor's wife from Los Angeles, as well as an elegant black woman originally from Mississippi, and at one point in our impromptu discussion of the film and of race in America, the doctor's wife began to talk about the problems her gard ...more
Chris Blocker
A misleading and uneven book that poses, but doesn't answer, an interesting question. Everything But the Burden isn't a collection of essays in its entirety. There's an impression given, as the book's description reiterates, that this is a collection of essays. Mostly it is; however, there are also excerpts from a play, a story or two, and a poem. Secondly, the book promises to tackle the question of what white people are “taking from black culture.” Indeed, that's what these pieces should be ab ...more
Peter William Warn

Race is a little like literature. We feel it before we can think about it. Our most productive conversations about it involve both our emotions and intellects.

The best entries in Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture are like that. Most writers in the book edited by Greg Tate blend their thoughts and personal experiences to share insights that are illuminating and often viscerally powerful.

In a strong essay, the writer and singer Latasha Natasha Diggs uses
Eva Leger
Absolute trash. White people shouldn't be rappers. White people, oh, I'm sorry, that's 'white' people (the capital is only used for Black people) shouldn't touch anything that Blacks started. Yet Black people can use, touch, take, share, etc., anything that White people started. People like this are the reason racism is alive and well today. How about everyone do whatever the hell they want to do and not worry about who STARTED it and who STOLE it.
Greg Tate is an rascist, idiotic bastard.
Not really a book to hold your hand so much as push you into the fire; its strongest points tend to be when the writers are actually defining the things white culture attempts to appropriate and their shadows that white culture attempts to look past or fails to even notice. So I see that a lot of reviewers feel that it goes off topic. I never felt that, but I did feel that I often had to do the work of running the essays I was reading through the question of, what exactly are white people taking ...more
Michael Borshuk
Dec 09, 2011 Michael Borshuk rated it liked it
A provocative, if somewhat uneven, collection about white appropriations and approximations of African American culture. (Worth noting, though, that some essays entirely fall out of this thematic range, but remain compelling.) Tate brings together a wide variety of voices, including big name academics (Robin D.G. Kelley, Manthia Diawara), notable novelists (Jonathan Lethem, Danzy Senna), and working artists (Arthur Jafa), to explore interracial cultural exchange in its many forms through many di ...more
Phil Overeem
Jun 17, 2015 Phil Overeem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essential reading right now, though it's 12 years old.
I'd just finished reading the starry-eyed 'Why White Kids Love Hip Hop' Why White Kids Love Hip Hop by Bakari Kitwana and I wanted a counter argument. Instead, Greg Tate put some essays from a bunch of his friends, and only the first one about Eminem (yawn) had anything to do with white people vamping on hip hop while keeping their privilege. But it's still great, my favorite was an autobiographical essay from a black woman who is trying to grow dreadlocks and she's been buying this hair care pr ...more
Aug 22, 2007 Paolo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Shelves: culturalstudies
Pick up this book, then go directly to the last essay by dp Arthur Jaffa, about his flash-of-lightning experience of watching Kubrick's '2001' as a black kid in 60's Mississippi. Complicated, piercing, inspired, and moving, like much of the essays in this collection. Jaffa's piece also made me re-think my love for blockbusters such as 'Alien' and 'Star Wars', whose villains are steeped in white anxieties about the Other as sexual and imperial conqueror. Aint no coincidence that Sigourney Weaver' ...more
Donna Davis
This is by no means a light read, but the thought-provoking essays were timely, back when young men were sagging their pants and it was cool to do the jail-house shuffle. It's still worth looking at, because the disparity still exists.
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Greg Tate is a music and popular culture critic and journalist whose work has appeared in many publications, including the Village Voice, Vibe, Spin, The Wire, and Downbeat. He is the author of Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader, Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America, and Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience, and the editor of Everything But the Burden: What Whi ...more
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