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ILLMATIC CONSEQUENCES:

The Clapback to Opponents of ‘Critical Race Theory’

“The debates and curiosities surrounding CRT are growing every day and this text at this time truly meets the moment in a down to earth relevant language with relatable references which reduce the distance between the theoretical academic portions of the text and the lived experiences of the reader.”

“[The authors] offers a vicarious voice to those who have long awaited a critical response to these attacks on African agency and centering within American curricula.”

“This work represents the newest face of academic discourse, real, relevant, and spoken from a HipHop perspective.”

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
Peace God! A Trip Down Memory Lane (A Brief History of the “Critical Race Theory” Controversy)
Danian Darrell Jerry

Straight Up (Sh)It is Real
Walter D. Greason

SECTION 1: THE CRISIS

Resistance to Critical Race Theory: Much to Do about Nothing?
Lee Ross

The Critical Race Theory Legacy of A. Leon Higginbotham’s Vision of the Colonial Period
Christel N. Temple

Wicked Problems and Illmaticism: A Systems View
LaTanya White

The Ubiquity and Formlessness of Hip Hop and Critical Race Theory
Why Bans Against Critical Race Theory May be Unconstitutional as Against the Non-Delegation Doctrine
Andre L. Smith

Hip-Hop Represented Long Before CRT Became A Conservative Rallying Point
Ronda Racha Penrice

Rhizomatic
Benjamin P. Levy

INTERLUDE: R-Son the Voice of Reason
(Gangstagrass), 2022

5 Mics and 5 Tenants: A Content Analysis of Illmatic to Understand Critical Race Theory
Dwayne Matthews

Represent: Education Still Groovy but Smoother
Walter D. Greason

INTERLUDE: Systemic Racism
Joe Feagin

SECTION 2: THE CLAPBACK

Static: The Illmatic Consequences of the CRT Boogeyman
Bijoun Eric Jordan

Decolonizing Public Minds and Public Places—An Interview with Maurice Broaddus

ANTIBODIES//Shots: Engaging Public Health Critical Race Praxis to Counter Epistemic Violence in Discourse of Dual Pandemics
Ryan J Petteway

INTERLUDE: The Sinking White Middle Class
David Roediger

Don’t Believe the Right: A Message from the Media Assassin (An Interview with Harry Allen)

The Lion Man Project: Creating Critical Comics as Counter-storying
Michael B. Dando, John Jennings, and David Brume

INTERLUDE: A House Divided and New Abolitionism
Zebulon Miletsky, Ph.D.

Illmatic Images: A Visual Essay
Stacey Robinson

Christian Nationalism and the comic, Incognegro
Matthew Teutsch

Black Noise Whitewash
Michael A. Gonzales

Auto-Ethnographical Notes on Whiteness: My Nice White Family
Kat Moore

INTERLUDE: White Solidarity - A Dangerous Idea
Robert Baird

SECTION 3: THE CONSEQUENCES

Storming the Capitol: An Exercise in the Patriotic Right to Violence
Allen Chukwuhdi

From Visual Representation to Hip-Hop: Using Innovative Sources to Reconcile Hard History and Inspire Young Activism
Dory Lerner

Integrity and Responsible Journalism: Fact Checking False Narratives (An Interview with Jesse J. Holland)

INTERLUDE: Afrofuturist Design
Kurt Wagner and Walter D. Greason

Innovating Racism in Digital Detroit
Asha E. Criner

The Dark Green City: The Liminal-Space of the In-Between
C.N.E. Corbin

Into the Ether: The Rap Battle as Parable for the Slow Burn of CRT
Elle L. Littlefield

Black Zombies
Odell Hall

CONCLUSION
Afraid Not of None of You Cowards, But of My Own Strength
Walter D. Greason

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ILLMATIC CONSEQUENCES:

The Clapback to Opponents of 'Critical Race Theory'

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Editors

Walter-Greason--UWP-Editorial-Committee-300x300px

Walter Greason, PhD

Illmatic@uwpbooks.com

“As the authors in this collection demonstrate, hip hop was not simply an aesthetic, but it was an epistemology – a fundamental transformation of the ways people know themselves and their world… The collected authors in this text offer a multi-disciplinary range of evidence and methods to counter the rhetoric that defined the latest moment of white backlash.”—Walter Greason, Editor

Walter Greason is among the most prominent historians, educators, and urbanists in the United States. He has spent the past 30 years speaking to audiences in dozens of states, on over 100 college and high school campuses, at dozens of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the country.

Danian-Jerry-illmatic consequences editor

Danian Darrell Jerry, MFA

Illmatic@uwpbooks.com

“Our volume, Illmatic Consequences, elucidates and demystifies the recent controversy surrounding “critical race theory," a term we place in quotations due to its habitual and strategic misuse by its opponents and by those who fail to recognize this rhetorical tactic.”—Danian Jerry, Editor

Danian Darrell Jerry, a writer, teacher, and emcee, holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Memphis where he teaches literature and English composition. He was a featured guest at the 2019 Mercedes-Benz SXSW MeConvention in Frankfurt, Germany. His work is discussed in This Ain't Chicago: Race, Class, & Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South (University of North Carolina Press, 2014), Hip Hop In America: A Regional Guide (two volumes, Greenwood, 2009) edited by Mickey Hess, The Commercial Appeal, The Memphis Flyer, and Southern Soul Magazine. As a professor, he has taught fiction writing and performance reading at Memphis College of Art. Currently he revises his first novel, The Boy with the Golden Arm. His writing appears or is forthcoming in Marvel’s Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda, Trouble the Waters: Tales of the Deep Blue, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fireside Fiction, Cracking The Wire During Black Lives Matter, Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction, and other notable publications.

Artist

Stacey-Robinson-Artist-Illmatic-Consequences

Stacey Robinson

Stacey Robinson is an artist from Albany, NY, who creates graphic novels, art exhibitions, and other multimedia works of art that explores the ideas of “Black Utopias” through an Afro-Futurist lens. Robinson graduated from Fayetteville State University with a Bachelor of Arts, and went on to complete his Master of Fine Arts as a Arthur Schomburg Fellow at the University of Buffalo. He is a part of the collaborative artist duo “Black Kirby” alongside John Jennings, which explores Afro Speculative existence through the aesthetic of Jack Kirby. Robinson’s artwork explores the ideas of futures where Black people are free from the harmful impacts of colonialism. His work can be seen around the world at Modern Graphics in Berlin, Bucknell University, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Editorial
Director

Reynaldo-Anderson-Ph.D--Editorial-Director-300x300px
Editor@uwpbooks.com

Reynaldo Anderson currently serves as the Graduate Director and Associate Professor of Africology and African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Reynaldo is currently the Executive Director and co-founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM), an international network of artists, intellectuals, creatives, and activists.

Meet Our Contributors

Benjamin-P.-Levy--Illmatic-Consequences-Contributor

Benjamin P. Levy

Benjamin Perry Levy (they/them & he/him) is an undergraduate student, educator, and leader at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, majoring in American Studies with an emphasis in Black Studies and expecting to graduate in May 2023. Reminded by their mother and maternal grandmother growing up to “never forget their people” and where they come from, Levy’s upbringing in Kingston, JA; Tulsa, OK; and Beloit, WI has fundamentally shaped how they engage with the community and academic life–with interests ranging from the relationship between memory, new media, and Afrofuturism; spatial justice and architectural theory; to Black aesthetics and politics. Their interests have led them to conduct qualitative research with Research in Action in Minneapolis, MN, and at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. 

Benjamin P. Levy
Michael-A.-Gonzales--Illmatic-Consequences-Contributor

Michael A. Gonzales

Michael A. Gonzales is the co-author of the seminal music text Bring the Noise: A Guide to Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture. A former writer-at-large for Vibe, The Source, and Ebony, he has written essays for Essence, The Paris Review, The Village Voice, Wax Poetics, CrimeReads, Longreads, and Soulhead.com. His Black book series “The Blacklist” appeared in Catapult. Gonzales’ short fiction has appeared in The Oxford American, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, TaintTaintTaint.com, Under the Thumb: Stories of Police Oppression edited by S.A. Cosby, Black Pulp, The Book of Extraordinary Femme Fatale Stories edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Get Up Offa That Thing: Crime Fiction Inspired by James Brown edited by Gary Phillips.

Michael A. Gonzales

Allen-Chukwuhdi-Illmatic-Consequences-Contributors

Allen Chukwuhdi

Allen Chukwuhdi is a psycho-historian that attended Fordham University, where he majored in both history and psychology. He is currently a Psy. D candidate at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. “It was my enthusiasm for history, and specifically Black history, colonialism, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, that induced me to employ the psychological sciences. I believe that history and historical figures cannot be properly investigated without it”.  Chukwuhdi is interested in developing psychological interventions in Black communities that incorporate cultural solutions and use history to develop identity cohesion, as well as to challenge constructed narratives.

Allen Chukwuhdi

Asha-Criner---Illmatic-Consequences-Contributor

Asha Criner

Asha Criner is an undergraduate student, studying Neuroscience and Urban Studies at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 2020, she guest-authored an Op-Ed for the Detroit Free Press, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, discussing the consequences of insufficient Black representation in academic/high school curricula – a direct response to the social upheaval that arose after the murder of George Floyd. As a graduating high school senior, she was the recipient of the William Keane Award, which recognizes one student for exemplary achievements in writing.

Asha Criner

Dr.-Lee-Ross_Illmatic Consequences Contributor

Lee E. Ross

Dr. Lee E. Ross is Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida. As a graduate of Rutgers University, his research spans a variety of areas, from his seminal work on religion and social control theory to more recent publications in the areas of critical race theory and criminal justice systems responses to domestic violence. As the author of Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice (2018), his scholarship can be found in a variety of academic journals, including Justice Quarterly, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Crime and Justice, and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.

Lee E. Ross

Bijoun-Eric-Jordan

Bijoun Eric Jordan

Bijoun Eric Jordan is a high school English teacher in his 19th year. His greatest professional pleasure is stoking enjoyment of words and ideas — and after school, making students world travelers. Bijoun studied education at New York University, followed by a gap year abroad, then a master's in English literature at Hunter College. A self-professed nerd and staunch advocate of the Oxford comma, Jordan is also a consummate hip hop head and a recovering lyricism addict whose other passions include politics, pop culture, gaming, and creativity. He lives and loves in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter, and son.

Bijoun Eric Jordan

Kurt-Wagner---Illmatic-Consequences-Contributor

Kurt W. Wagner

Kurt W. Wagner has been an academic librarian in New Jersey for 28 years. Currently, he is University Librarian at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. Wagner holds a BA in Anthropology from Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO; a Masters of Library Science from The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; and an MA in Communication from William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ. In 2009 and 2013 Wagner was the recipient of the New Jersey Library Association’s Technology Innovation Award. He has experience leading high performance teams and focuses his work today on library engagement and improving students’ use of library resources for research.

Kurt W. Wagner

Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Dr. Miletsky is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies. His new book "Before Busing: A History of Boston’s Long Black Freedom Struggle" is being published by the University of North Carolina Press for release in December 2022. Dr. Miletsky is a historian specializing in recent African-American History, Civil Rights and Black Power, Urban History, Mixed Race and Biracial identity, and Hip-Hop Studies. His research interests include African-Americans in Boston, Northern freedom movements outside of the South, Mixed race history in the U.S. and passing, and the Afro-Latin diaspora. He is the author of numerous articles, reviews, essays, and book chapters and is currently working on an edited volume on new directions in Boston African American History and school desegregation. He is also at work on his second monograph, a history of interracial marriage and racial passing.

Zebulon Vance Miletsky

Dwayne-Matthews-Profile-Illmatic-Consequnces-Contributor

Dwayne Matthews

Dwayne Matthews began to appreciate Hip Hop when he first heard “I Refuse Limitations” by Goodie Mob. While serving as a U.S. Peace Corps Community Health Advisor in Malawi, Africa, he created and launched the Malawian Empowerment Through Hip Hop & Organizational Development (METHOD), a program that used Hip Hop to reduce youth recidivism. His experience also includes leading a 12-month Hip Hop course in a Malawian Prison, instructing a Hip Hop Africa course at Howard University, and serving as a Board Member of Words Beats and Life, a DC-based non-profit that serves as an advocate of Hip Hop culture. Most recently, he was accepted in to Howard University’s Social Justice Consortium. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Dwayne is currently a Sociology Ph.D. student with a focus on Criminalization in Hip Hop at Howard University.

Dwayne Matthews

Christel-Temple-Illmatic-Consequences-Contributor

Christel N. Temple

Christel N. Temple is a Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she specializes in Africana Cultural Memory, the Intersections of History and Literature, Comparative Black Literature, and Cultural Theory. She is the author of Muhammad Ali in Africana Cultural Memory, Black Cultural Mythology, Transcendence and the Africana Literary Enterprise, Literary Spaces: Introduction to Comparative Black Literature, and Literary Pan-Africanism: History, Contexts, and Criticism. Additionally, her essays, commentary, and reviews have appeared in the Journal of Black Studies, Western Journal of Black Studies, International Journal of Africana Studies, Journal of Pan African Studies, CLA Journal, and more. She is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and earned her Ph.D. from Temple University’s Department of Africology and African American Studies.

Christel N. Temple

Dory-Lerner-Illmatic Consequences Contributor

Dory Lerner

Dory earned her BA in Sociology from Willamette University in Oregon and her MA in Museum Education from Tufts University in Massachusetts. For over 20 years, Dory has created engaging experiences in museums, schools, libraries, and community centers. As the K-12 Educator at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, she develops programs and curricula to inspire learners of all ages and encourage activism. She served at the King Center in Atlanta, the Field Museum, and the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago. For Dory, growing up in Memphis instilled a strong moral conscience for racial and economic inequities both historically and in modern context. Dory has volunteered and served on the board of Memphis Artists for Change and led a community vegetable garden with local youth for more than a decade. 

Dory Lerner

LaTanya White

Dr. LaTanya White is the recipient of the North Star and Innovative New Scholar awards for entrepreneurship education and research. She is an expert in belonging, racial equity, and entrepreneurship. As a result of her leadership and contributions to the Education and Business Administration sectors, Dr. White was recognized by the U.S. Department of State as a Fulbright Specialist. She leverages her research and expertise on Black entrepreneurship and the racial wealth gap to help entrepreneurs and the inclusive organizations that support them create racial equity in their policies, practices, and programming. Dr. White is a 2x author, TEDx Speaker, and Founder of Concept Creative Group, a professional and management development training firm focused on empowering Black entrepreneurs, their families, and their communities.

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