I was intrigued. "Pimps Up, Ho's Down" is quite a name, and it instantly grabbed my attention. I imagined tales of back alley beat-downs, fur coats, canes and hundred-dollar bills rolled up to snort big lines of "blow". Then I read the sub-title"Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women" and realized that, far from a recounting of a real pimp's true-life experiences, this book was on a rather serious subject matter. Overcoming my disappointment, I proceeded to see what the author had to say on this matter.
T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting (which I must say is an incredibly difficult name to type) is, according to the liner notes of this book, a Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University. She was also a runway model during her graduate studies at Brown University (which she makes mention of, and seemingly apologizes for in the prologue to this book).
In the prologue, she explains her relationship with academia, the modeling industry and hip hop, and states her purpose for writing this book. "As a member of the hip hop generation, I am continually intrigued by the ways in which hip hop sets the tone for how women--myself included--think and act. I have written this book as a way to explore how and why we women do the things we do, what hip hop has to say about it all, and what we have to say back."Although not a huge fan of hip hop music, I am (technically) a member of the male gender and therefore always willing to listen when a female says she's going to talk about how and why women do the things they do. It was in this frame of mind that I read the introduction and then embarked on Chapter One.