ghettonation - Book Review: Ghettonation: A Journey into...

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Book Review: Ghettonation: A Journey into the Land of Bling and the Home of the Shameless Cora Daniel’s book, “Ghettonation: A Journey into the Land of Bling and the Home of the Shameless”, explores the meaning behind the word ghetto and how it has shifted from a physical to mental setting. Through this exploration, the reader becomes familiar with the true meaning of ghetto as it is used in today’s culture and how this new meaning and application restrains and even damages the black community. When Daniels’ work is put in context with Dr. Walker’s book, “The History of Black Entrepreneurship in the U.S.” it becomes clear that black businesses can only succeed when they attempt to commodify black culture, in this case black culture being “ghetto”. Daniels goes onto argue that this culture, which brings substantial success to few blacks, is in-fact more damaging to the greater black community and thus the black businessperson. Although Daniels’ dialogue on the ghetto mind-set greatly focuses on social effects on the black community, the effects which she discusses are so impactful that they can be applied to the black business community as well. In order to understand the black culture, ghetto, which is being commodified, we must first explore Daniels’ book and her approach to the topic. Daniels identifies several aspects of ghetto and focuses on how these issues affect the community. These focal points include: low expectations caused by ghetto, the imbalance between ghetto and civilized blacks, and commodification of ghetto. These points are emphasized through definitions provided by Daniels followed by interviews and narratives to support each definition. First, Daniels clarifies that ghetto has no class or racial borders. Daniels uses two celebrities to demonstrate such a point. On Martha Stewart’s cooking show after her guest-star Patti LaBelle stated, “Martha, you couldn’t be ghetto if you tried”, Martha- queen of all that is proper-quickly shot back, “Oh, I can get ghetto when I need to”(8). Also the hip-hop
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ghettonation - Book Review: Ghettonation: A Journey into...

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