"gettin' Our Groove On" (Paperback)

Rhetoric, Language, and Literacy for the Hip Hop Generation (African American Life)

By Kermit E. Campbell

Wayne State University Press, 9780814329252, 195pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2005

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Because of the increasing influence of hip hop music and culture on a generation raised during its dominance, it is important to address hip hop and African American vernacular not merely as elements of folk and popular cultures but as rhetoric worthy of serious scrutiny. In Gettin' Our Groove On, Kermit E. Campbell not only insists on this worthiness but also investigates the role that African American vernacular plays in giving a voice to the lived experiences of America's ghetto marginalized.

Campbell's work shows the persistence and force of the vernacular tradition in the face of increasing criticism from the American mainstream. A broad area of research is covered with surprising depth as Campbell addresses issues of language and rhetoric within the historical context of African oral tradition and African American folklore, poetry, popular music, fiction, and film. The text presents gangsta/reality rap as a rhetorical tactic consistent with ghetto hustling culture, rather than just entertainment, and also explores the negation of black vernacular in the classroom that has resulted in misguided approaches to teaching literacy to black students. Itself infused with the hip hop idiom and an engaging style free of academic jargon, Gettin' Our Groove On presents a thorough and provocative contribution to cultural and rhetorical studies.

About the Author

Kermit E. Campbell is associate professor of rhetoric and writing at Colgate University.