chapter  3
14 Pages

Hol’ up

Post-civil rights black theology within Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 album
WithDaniel White Hodge

“Hol’ Up: Post-Civil Rights Black Theology within Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80,” written by Daniel White Hodge, suggests that Kendrick Lamar represents a myriad of complex theological tropes for black theological praxis and for the broader study of black people, writ large. Hodge argues that in a post-civil rights era, black people find themselves in a locality that is neither post-racial nor publicly racist, as during Jim/Jane Crowism; neither fully equal nor fully separate; and not fully human yet celebrated in full for culture and entertainment; it is an era that contains all the elements of hope and forward momentum in the symbol of the first black president of the United States and the nefarious nature of racism poignantly symbolized in Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and countless other black lives lost at the hands of racism and profiling. Turning to the work of Jon Michael Spencer, Hodge weds Spencer’s notion of theomusicology with Hodge’s own focus on sociology and communication to present an image of Lamar as a voice of a generation (or more). For Hodge, Lamar’s symbolism rises as a figure and presents an anomaly, of sorts, in a post-civil rights era.