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Black Skinhead  By  cover art

Black Skinhead

By: Brandi Collins-Dexter
Narrated by: Brandi Collins-Dexter
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Publisher's Summary

This program is read by the author. 

For fans of Bad Feminist and The Sum of Us, Black Skinhead sparks a radical conversation about Black America and political identity.

In Black Skinhead, Brandi Collins-Dexter, former Senior Campaign Director for Color Of Change, explores the fragile alliance between Black voters and the Democratic party. Through sharp, timely essays that span the political, cultural, and personal, Collins-Dexter reveals decades of simmering disaffection in Black America, told as much through voter statistics as it is through music, film, sports, and the baffling mind of Kanye West.

While Black Skinhead is an outward look at Black votership and electoral politics, it is also a funny, deeply personal, and introspective look at Black culture and identity, ultimately revealing a Black America that has become deeply disillusioned with the failed promises of its country.

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We had been told that everything was fine, that America was working for everyone and that the American Dream was attainable for all. But for those who had been paying attention, there had been warning signs that the Obamas’ version of the American Dream wasn’t working for everyone. That it hadn’t been working for many white Americans was immediately and loudly discussed, but the truth—and what I set out to write this book about—was that it hadn’t been working for many Black Americans either. For many, Obama’s vision had been more illusion than reality all along.

When someone tells you everything is fine, but around you, you see evidence that it’s not, where will the quest to find answers lead you? As I went on the journey of writing this book, I found a very different tale about Black politics and Black America, one that countered white America’s long-held assumption that Black voters will always vote Democrat—and even that the Democratic party is the best bet for Black Americans.

My ultimate question was this: how are Black people being led away—not towards—each other, and what do we lose when we lose each other? What do we lose when, to quote Kanye West, we feel lost in the world.

 A Macmillan Audio production from Celadon Books. 

©2022 Brandi Collins-Dexter (P)2022 Macmillan Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“How can the most reliable Democratic voters be the most dissatisfied with the Democratic Party? Why does the political class obsess over the shifting loyalties of white voters but ignore Black voters who are experiencing the same doubts? To explain why—and what to do about it—Brandi Collins-Dexter seamlessly weaves political analysis with cultural criticism, historical perspectives with deeply personal stories. She not only shows us what Black voters are yearning for, she tells us what will happen if we do not pay attention.” —Heather McGhee, New York Times bestselling author of The Sum of Us

"Brandi Collins-Dexter has written the book I wanted to read about Black politics in America not just in the wake of Donald Trump's presidency, but after the elections of Barack Obama and Joe Biden failed to deliver material results for Black people. With nuance, pathos, and an unflinching honesty, Collins-Dexter carefully explores the "unsatisfied" and "unsettled" relationship between the Democratic Party and the Black voters (and would-be voters) it takes for granted. She seamlessly and deftly weaves between what she's learned from thinking partners as different as Kanye West, his mother Donda West, historian Leah Wright Rigueur, activist Kwame Ture, Black Trump supporters, radio host Charlamagne tha God, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and—most personally—her late, basketball-dribbling father. The essays of Black Skinhead will haunt you, inspire you and make you consider contemporary Black politics in America in profoundly new ways." —Steven W. Thrasher, PhD, author of The Viral Underclass 

Black Skinhead masterfully weaves together a compelling personal story about coming of age as an activist disenchanted with the complacent attitude of politicians toward the needs of Black Americans. Brandi Collins-Dexter guides the reader to see the world as she sees it: lyrical, political, and cynical, at times. She does not take democracy in America as inevitable, but rather as an ideal to be fought for, where all political parties must continue to earn the votes of Black Americans. If you’re disheartened by party posturing, Black Skinhead is the political education you’ve been waiting for.” —Dr. Joan Donovan, research director at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center and author of Meme Wars

What listeners say about Black Skinhead

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This was a great read.

Each essay was well written, thoughtful and thought provoking. I'm ready for the next one.

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A new voice in the Black political fight for the souls of Black Folks

In a series of essays the author researches and interviews Black Americans with varying political views. She goes back and forth analyzing the way in which each side validates their support of their chosen party. But have no doubt this book is a must read for all democratic leaders who seem to be loosing their grip on the Black vote, Clearly their is a feeling of betrayal and false promises leading some Black voters to rethink their party allegiance. This is especially true amongst the new young Black voters. The authors reviews are thought provoking. A good read and easy to listen to.