Ghetto Celebrity: Searching for My Father in Me One dubious perk of growing up in the ghetto of small-town Sandusky, Ohio -- "the little, out-of-the-way hoods," Donnell Alexander explains in his blustery though… 2003-06-10 Nonfiction
Review

Ghetto Celebrity: Searching for My Father in Me (2003)

Details Release Date: Jun 10, 2003; Writer: Donnell Alexander; Genre: Nonfiction

One dubious perk of growing up in the ghetto of small-town Sandusky, Ohio -- ''the little, out-of-the-way hoods,'' Donnell Alexander explains in his blustery though occasionally moving bildungs-memoir, ''are actually, like, extra-ghetto'' -- is the chance to later land a lucrative gig as a glossy magazine's ''designated hipster.'' At least that's what Alexander concludes after ESPN The Magazine lures him away from L.A. Weekly to help sell urban cool to the white-suburban masses. Alexander's insights into corporate culture can seem oddly naive, and he gratingly portrays himself as the only guy with a clue (whether in the alternative press or at a major media conglomerate). Overall, he is more effective exploring his conflicted feelings about his background, his interracial marriage, and the legacy of his father, a small-time musician, heroin addict, pimp, and charismatic ''ghetto celebrity'' long before that became a marketable thing to be.

Originally posted Jun 20, 2003 Published in issue #715 Jun 20, 2003 Order article reprints