Born Lisa Williamson in 1964, Sister Souljah is a hip-hop artist that burst to the forefront of mainstream media in 1992 when she was criticized by then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton for saying “If Black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?” Clinton was trying to prove to other Democrats that he did not sympathize with the organization that Souljah was a member of. She basically said Bill Clinton and went on to sign music and publishing contracts. She has become one of the more passionate and articulate voices to emerge speaking for young African Americans in the United States. She has written and published to works: No Disrespect, and autobiographical account of Souljah’s life, and The Coldest Winter Ever.
The Coldest Winter Ever tells of the story of a young woman named Winter. She was born into a family drug operation. Her father was a drug kingpin. Winter never knew about struggles in life. She always had the best of the best; everyone wanted to be like her. This was all taken away when her father’s operation is busted and he goes to jail for the rest of his life. Winter, who has never known poverty, is faced with trying to survive while attempting to continue living in the extravagance to which she has become accustomed. The story follows Winter from the time she is fifteen until she is about twenty-five, in prison serving time for a crime for possessing drugs that belonged to her boyfriend. The story ends with Winter still in jail, not the usual happy ending that accompanies fictional novels. This real life ending is the most important aspect of this novel.
Karl Marx argues in The German Ideology that material allows for more culture. Material is the road to true humanity. These materials are not only those things that we possess, such as cars, clothes, and houses, but also material that we gain through life experience itself. Winter defines her life by material. For her, money is God. She begins referencing her material items at once, from the diamond ring set in 24-karat gold she received the day she was born, to the diamond tennis bracelet she received on her sixteenth birthday, to the designer clothes she wore that no one else had or could afford. Even after she has no money because of he...
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Sheldon, Randall G. “The History of Criminal Justice from a Critical Perspective.” Controlling
the Dangerous Classes: A Critical Introduction to the History of Criminal Justice.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001.
Sister Souljah. The Coldest Winter Ever. Pocket Books, a Division of Simon and Schuster Inc.
Americas, NY. 1999.
Sister Souljah. No Disrespect. Vintage Books, a Division of Random House. New York. 1994.
Storey, John. “Fiction.” Cultural Studies and the Study of Popluar Culture second edition.
Athens, Georgia. University of Georgia Press. 2003.
Woodson, Carter G. The Mis-Education of the Negro. Trenton, NJ. Africa World Press, Inc.
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