Judging the Book by Its Cover: America's Continuing Problem with Acceptance
"They're targeting guys who dress like me -- guys who dress hip-hop. Put a murderer in a suit, and he's still a murderer. It sends a bad message to kids" (Iverson 1). Allen Iverson, the quote's author, often has to defend himself with comments like this one when being berated by the media. Being one of the world's best basketball players definitely puts him in the spotlight, but unfortunately, his talent is usually not the topic of conversation. Allen Iverson, an African American, is considered by America's dominant culture, white and middle-classed, to be a "thug." The media prefers to use the term "hip-hop icon" to describe the 6'1 guard of the Philadelphia …show more content…
culture's middle class values and Black masculinity from a hip-hop perspective" (Brown 65). Brown explains how white America perceives Iverson as the epitome of everything they are not. Brown even attempts to answer the question as to why Iverson dresses and acts the way that he does saying, "Therefore, the unique stylizing, posing, clothing, and dialect that signify a hip-hop black masculinity is a way for young people to exercise power" (Brown 78). He also states that "in a patriarchy culture, black men's own bodies are the only aspect they have control over" (Brown 78). Throughout the article Brown looks at how and why white men have come to fear black masculinity. At the end he summarizes up his thoughts with a proposed solution, "it starts with the ability to self-critique ourselves not in a hateful way but in a way that liberates black masculinity from racial folklore, cultural racism, and historical stereotypes" (Brown 82).
After reading the article, it was clear to me that one reason Iverson is looked down upon by the majority of Americans is because he does not meet the ideal standard of America's dominant culture. I was also able to relate to some of the ideas in the article from a basketball/hip-hop perspective because many of my teammates and friends enjoy the same things that