The Neoliberal Turn Of The "Hustle"
The connotations of the term “hustle” run the gamut. Hustlers can be celebrated as high-energy, ambitious achievers, or denigrated as con-artists. People who hustle can be applauded for their tenacity and determination, while people who are said to lack a desire to hustle can be seen as deadbeats.
In his new book, Dr. Lester Spence takes a close look at the notion of hustling, and how our understanding of it is connected to Neoliberalism, and its influence on the politics of the African American community. Spence makes a passionate and provocative argument that Black politics have been co-opted by Neoliberalism, whose beginnings he dates from the Nixon administration in the 1970s. The book is called Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics. Lester Spence is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He joins Tom in the studio.