chapter  2
The Hostile Gospel and Democratic Faith: Black Feminist Refl ections on Rap and John Dewey
ByV. DENISE JAMES
Pages 15

Many people who live in urban neighborhoods often fi nd themselves struggling to exist amid conditions of poverty. High rates of violence, drug abuse, disease, and de facto separation from America’s mainstream plague the hoods and ghettos, whose inhabitants are overwhelmingly black and Latino. Political philosophy off ers us many theories of democracy but the people of concern here and their forms of life are not often the subject of our academic eff orts. It could be argued that our democracy theories do not map onto the everyday realities of these people and, hence, do not develop into democracy projects that would help eradicate inequality and promote just social conditions in poor, urban U.S. contexts. This neglect is symptomatic of the academy’s disdain for the common. If we really want justice and democracy then we must be committed to becoming more common.