Psalms of My People

A Story of Black Liberation as Told through Hip-Hop

Psalms of My People

A Story of Black Liberation as Told through Hip-Hop

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Available January 9, 2024

If you want to understand the Black experience in the US, you have to understand hip-hop.

James Baldwin, in his famous talk "The Struggle for the Artist's Integrity," suggests that "the poets (by which I mean all artists) are finally the only people who know the truth about us." And to understand the truth about the history of Black peoples in America, argues lenny duncan, we must look to the modern Black poet: the hip-hop artist.

In Psalms of My People, artist, scholar, and activist lenny duncan treats the work of hip-hop artists from the last several decades--from N.W.A, Tupac, and Biggie to Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, and Kendrick Lamar--like sacred scripture. Their songs and lyrics are given full exegetical treatment--a critical and contextual interpretation of text--and are beautifully illustrated, with a blend of ancient and modern art styles illuminating every page.

All the while, duncan traces the history of hip-hop, revealing it as a conduit to tell the modern story of Black liberation in this country, following the bloody trail from the end of the Civil Rights Era through the day George Floyd was sacrificed on the streets of America.

"Who else but the hip-hop artist," asks Duncan, "has embodied the cries, pain, and secret concrete ? Whose art? Our art. Whose story is written in the book of life with crimson lines dipped in a well that is 400+ years deep? Whose story? Our story. For whom does God bring down empires? Us."

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506479026
  • eBook ISBN 9781506479033
  • Dimensions 5.25 x 7.25
  • Pages 279
  • Publication Date January 9, 2024
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