Collins-Dexter compellingly ties her engaging assessments of the Black skinheads’ artistic output to a broader political critique, often drawing on the history of media and labor movements and social justice ... Each essay reflects deep research, passion and respect for her subject ... There are holes in Collins-Dexter’s theory. She mentions that younger Black voters show more interest in socialism than their elders; by her definition, would they not also be considered Black skinheads? Are Black-led L.G.B.T.Q. movements also Black skinheads, standing on the margins and attempting to move the center? ... The thing is, this ideology is not as new as the author makes it out to be ... The book downplays the demonstrable influence of Black leftist thought and principles in a moment when such 'radical' ideas as police and prison abolition and more robust union organizing are seeing more airtime than they have in decades ... My heart wants the same thing Collins-Dexter’s does, and maybe that’s the place to start: an acknowledgment and honoring of those on the margins. Perhaps her point is that we are actually all Black skinheads, conforming in some ways and not in others — all just trying to reconcile our inner Kanye West.
In her powerful essays, Collins-Dexter explores the fragile alliance between the Democratic Party and Black voters in a mix of memoir, research, and analysis ... This fresh inquiry is recommended for everyone interested in the U.S. political landscape, Black lives, and identity in America.
... [a] sharp blend of memoir and cultural criticism ... offers a well-rendered critique of the implicit attitude that Black voters prefer Democrats or Black candidates. Through the lens of Black voters, Collins-Dexter examines often complex political concepts in an accessible way—Kanye West’s troubling persona is a recurring topic—but the rigor of her scholarship is never in question ... this collection is well constructed and incisively argued. Collins-Dexter begins and ends with poignant memories of her father, effectively tying the personal to the universal. Featuring a vivid mix of hard data, anecdotal details, and scholarly research, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in politics and Black lives in America ... A remarkable work that leaves us feeling hopeful for change.