The “Top Dawg” Effect: What Kendrick Lamar Tells Us About the Future of Urban Revitalization

American inner-cities are marginalized and troubled, yet deeply creative and vibrant. Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment have capitalized on Los Angeles’ cultural vitality and are transforming their communities in the process.

Scholastique Mukasonga and Life in Rwanda

Mukasonga makes no profound declarations about the impacts of conflict or sweeping statements about the loss of tradition or lifestyle. Rather, she shows us these phenomena through speaking to the subtle erosion of positions in carefully curated systems and how the properties of these systems begin to diminish as circumstance alters livelihoods.

The Tangible Effects of Political Realities: Fiction in the Time of Trujillo’s Regime

Vargas Llosa and Alvarez’s usage of the fictional format emboldens them to catalog the mindset of an array of individuals during this period and record how living under an authoritarian regime fundamentally changes people’s psychological realities, decision-making processes, and relationships.

Half of a Yellow Sun

Through her work, Adichie seeks to dismantle the pervasive “single story” of Africa, arguing that “stories have been used to dispossess and malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize.” This urgency and desire to provide a more nuanced narrative and amplify the voices of the unheard is easily apparent in Adichie’s 2006 novel, Half of a Yellow Sun.