Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism

Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism
by bell hooks and Amalia Mesa-Bains [South End]

Anti-racist, anti-patriarchal cultural criticism, as practiced by hooks and Mesa-Bains, is a vital form of media literacy and a survival strategy for young African Americans and Latinos. In an invitingly freewheeling conversation, the authors explore how capitalist-directed cultural trends and marketing undermine our capacity for liberating self-development, particularly among African American, Latino and women. Mesa-Bains and hooks provide characteristically insightful deconstructions of, for example, the iconization of Frida Kahlo, the debate over Ebonics, and purportedly anti-racist films such as Crash and Traffic. For Mesa-Bains and hooks, all of our cultural activity (including media consumption) should eschew passive consumerism to provide opportunities for radical resistance to oppression. -jl

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey