BLACK AND WHITE BABY by Bobby Short

BLACK AND WHITE BABY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The two-toned title has a double meaning: Bobby Short performed on the piano as a youngster in a white tuxedo; and as a black boy in Danville, Illinois, of the '20's, he was brought up in a white wasp ethic which made him distrust/look down on his own people in the ""foreign countries"" of Harlem, or the deep south. The ninth child of ten of an impractical and vain mother and a father who worked hard in the coal mines which took his life, Bobby started playing at local parties or taverns and at 11 went on the road (vaudeville, clubs, etc.) for two years. This takes place during the depression which caught up with them and ends as Bobby is graduated as one of six colored youngsters in a class of more than 300. Colored is his word and it denotes the demarcation between then and now; as for his story, it doesn't amount to much more than a few riffs but he tells it in a pleasant, easy fashion.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1971
Publisher: Dodd, Mead