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What do you think about street lit?

Submitted by on January 14, 2008 – 10:18 am7 Comments
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Thugs and the Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

“Street Lit”, the new genre of African-American literature that has taken over the New York Times best-seller list, is sparking a whole lot of controversy.

Acclaimed author Terry McMillan (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting To Exhale) argues these scandalous books are not worth placement in bookstores.

“A lot of young authors think that because their background is horrific, it constitutes a story. White folks read this stuff and laugh at us. We don’t even see that we are stereotyping ourselves.”

Karen Hunter, co-author of Confessions of a Video Vixen and Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip Hop Superstar suggests reading the books before judging them.

“There’s nothing wrong with salacious content as long as it’s well written…I did a book with a pimp…It’s prescriptive for what it means to get through life; not how to pimp on the street, but how to pimp your own destiny.”

What do you think? Are best-sellers such as Flyy Girl, The Coldest Winter Ever and Thugs and the Women Who Love Them worthy enough to be considered literature or are they just a waste of book shelf space?

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7 Comments »

  • Shinin'InMyLRG says:

    First! Don’t I Look Good?!

  • DatGurl_08 says:

    I love dem type of books they reveal some real sh** about what goes on in our hood

  • Will973 says:

    deep…

  • Jon P says:

    Most of them are good but the stories get repetitive (Why do we always have to be criminal masterminds in every one?) They cool though, C-Murder’s death around the corner is an instant classic.

  • Cee Cee says:

    I agree with what Karen Hunter said. We should read the books before we judge them. I hate to sound cliche, but you can’t judge a book by its cover. I also think that Terry McMillan was being a little hypocritical. I absolutely love her writing, don’t get me wrong..but “Waiting to Exhale” definitely perpetuated the “angry black woman” stereotype. And the stereotype of black men as players.

    And Jon P is right. The street lit stories can get a little repetitive. It’s nice to see a different story every once in a while. Black women are always made out to look like hoes and black men are always made to look like thugs and killers. That is not every black person’s story. I know plenty of people that were raised in the “hood” and are now successful doctors, lawyers and businessmen (and women). I wish we would hear more stories like that.

  • StraightLaced says:

    As long as it gets ustto pick up a piece of literature and do some actual reading I don’t see the problem. When’s the last time YOU read a book? Also, I think McMillan was out of line. Who appointed her the judge of whats worth placement in bookstores? My goodness!!

  • miss m says:

    i read them when i dont want to read anything too difficult.

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