What does the decline of the Black counterpublic have to do with Sanyika Shakur’s Monster? First of all, it means that Monster is a text produced in isolation from other African American texts, or, rather, in relation only to an idiosyncratic and limited number of other texts which are not representative of anything which might have, in the 1960s and early 1970s, represented black counterpublic discourse. It means that Monster is also heavily influenced by the white popular culture texts to which Sanyika Shakur has been exposed, and which—without a tradition of black critical discourse —he is helpless to critique.

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