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A Little Devil in America: In Praise of…
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A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance (urspr publ 2021; utgåvan 2022)

av Hanif Abdurraqib (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3671568,788 (4.5)9
"A Little Devil in America is an urgent project that unravels all modes and methods of black performance, in this moment when black performers are coming to terms with their value, reception, and immense impact on America. With sharp insight, humor, and heart, Abdurraqib examines how black performance happens in specific moments in time and space--midcentury Paris, the moon, or a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio. At the outset of this project, Abdurraqib became fascinated with clips of black minstrel entertainers like William Henry Lane, better known as Master Juba. Knowing there was something more complicated and deep-seated in the history and legacy of minstrelsy, Abdurraqib uncovered questions and tensions that help to reveal how black performance pervades all areas of American society. Abdurraqib's prose is entrancing and fluid as he leads us along the links in his remarkable trains of thought. A Little Devil in America considers, critques, and praises performance in music, sports, writing, comedy, grief, games, and love"--… (mer)
Medlem:cbwalsh
Titel:A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance
Författare:Hanif Abdurraqib (Författare)
Info:Penguin (2022)
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:*****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance av Hanif Abdurraqib (2021)

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Visa 1-5 av 15 (nästa | visa alla)
I tackled this book because it fell under the auspices of Black performers and their impact on culture and audiences. There is a justified rage permeating through the book that makes for an emotionally difficult read. Yet I was spellbound on the chapter about a female magician named Ellen Armstrong. The chapter ends with a treatise by the author that states, “You who might read this or hear this or stumble upon it and hope to find some answer or absolution within. This goes out to the sins; I cannot crawl myself out of in order to forgive the ones you might be buried under. This one goes out to all of the best stories I have never told. The ones I will hold close until I can pass them down to someone ese who pass them down. I have no real magic to promise any of you. I am praying for the most unspectacular exits.”
His impressions of Merry Clayton, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Joe Tex, and Aretha Franklin are gut wrenching discourses that will compel you to rethink these artists and how you have related to them.
( )
  GordonPrescottWiener | Aug 24, 2023 |
Remarkable. I don't think I've ever read such a poetic and informative work of nonfiction. ( )
  BibliophageOnCoffee | Aug 12, 2022 |
I received this book free in a Goodreads Giveway. As always, this did not impact my review. i can be bought, but it costs way more than a book, even a high quality hardcover.

I love Hanif Abdurraqib's work in all forms, and his are the only Spotify playlists I add to my feed without preview. His writing is taut and persuasive, personal and universal. His knowledge of music and modern American history is something beyond prodigious. He is, for me, the black Muslim Midwestern version of Jonathan Lethem's white Jewish New Yorker. As with Lethem this is not to say I agree with his every position or that I embrace his every analysis, but rather that I respect his positions and analysis, I follow and dissect them, and find they inspire in me new ways to think about very important things. They also entertain me. As he blended the historic with the personal I came to understand better his experience as a black Muslim man in America.

As with other Abdurraqib collections/articles/ podcasts/poems I have consumed before, my favorite pieces here were those that focused on music. The essay about Don Cornelius blew me away, but it was a distant second to the chapter on Merry Clayton/Gimme Shelter/the murder at Altamont. I was also intrigued by the Whitney Houston essay, though disappointed that the author chose not to look into the reasons that black audiences booed and heckled the singer. The same things happen when he writes of Dave Chapelle, and mentions in passing that the man spews hate toward those in the LGBT+ community, and laughs at them not with them -- the very thing that made him want to move away from comedy focused black culture aimed at white audiences. If Addurraqib had done a proper analysis rather than picking up his marbles and going home, the answers to his questions would not be pretty, but the truth matters. If he had been looking at the same issue with a white audience or white performer he would not have chosen to abandon ship (nor should he), and would have analyzed every utterance and act. That is my one beef with this book, that there are several times Abdurraqib's excellent analyses are cut short when they are not going in a direction in which he wants them to travel. This is not enough of an issue to cost a star, but I do think this would be a 4.5 if that were allowed.

Adurrqib left me smarter, better informed, more self-aware, and somewhat wiser. I cannot ask much more than that. ( )
1 rösta Narshkite | Jun 15, 2022 |
Delirious and heartfelt poetic prose at the intersections of Black resilience, US culture, and music, skillfully narrated. ( )
  JesseTheK | Mar 16, 2022 |
A really thought provoking book,mostly history, but much about the author's autobiographical story. The historical aspect is about Black performers and artists over the years who have had an impact on the suthor. Entertainers include people like Dave Chappelle, Joe Tex and Sun Ra ( a mucician who claimed aliens abducted him and took him to the planet Saturn) There is much to learn in this book (which I did) like the story of an extremely talented background singer for the Rolling Stones song Gimmie Shelter..A wonderful bookby a mega talented author. ( )
  muddyboy | Jan 28, 2022 |
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"A Little Devil in America is an urgent project that unravels all modes and methods of black performance, in this moment when black performers are coming to terms with their value, reception, and immense impact on America. With sharp insight, humor, and heart, Abdurraqib examines how black performance happens in specific moments in time and space--midcentury Paris, the moon, or a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio. At the outset of this project, Abdurraqib became fascinated with clips of black minstrel entertainers like William Henry Lane, better known as Master Juba. Knowing there was something more complicated and deep-seated in the history and legacy of minstrelsy, Abdurraqib uncovered questions and tensions that help to reveal how black performance pervades all areas of American society. Abdurraqib's prose is entrancing and fluid as he leads us along the links in his remarkable trains of thought. A Little Devil in America considers, critques, and praises performance in music, sports, writing, comedy, grief, games, and love"--

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