An engaging collection of writings that celebrates and reveals the historic Black Arts Movement.

HOMAGE TO THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT

A HANDBOOK

Juanita’s (Virgin Soul, 2013, etc.) multigenre study guide invites readers to investigate, through fiction, poetry, drama, and essays, the many facets of the revolutionary black artistic and political movements of the 1960s and ’70s.

In the short story “The Black House,” a young woman’s first encounter with the Black Panther Party begins with nervous skepticism as she practices the Islamic greeting that the members use. She soon gets a quick introduction to sexual politics when a man ushers her into the kitchen with the words, “You belong in here.” After some resistance, she finds strength and commonality among the women of the group. The poem “(not) forgotten man” is a tribute to the author Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones), whom the speaker describes as a “quixotic nobody” who “blasted the bridges between black and white.” “Life is a Carousel” is a two-act play, set at an academic symposium and at an airport before and after it. In it, a 1960s Black Arts Movement activist (based on Baraka) spars with airline agents and younger black academics as he declaims a manifesto that modern readers will find to be both hopelessly dated and frustratingly timeless. When a younger professor says, “You lose credence when you refuse to update,” the old lion snaps back, “We call that co-opted.” The book ends with two essays, “Five Comrades in the Black Panther Party, 1967-1970” and “Meeting LeRoi Jones,” a dryly humorous story of hero worship and the thrill of a burgeoning movement. Overall, Juanita has created a dense and intriguing tribute to an important literary group whose influence still reverberates in American culture. Her works effectively embrace a wide variety of issues from gender politics to skin-color privilege within the black community. “Life is a Carousel,” for example, is a complex tapestry of intergenerational dialogue that punctures the pomposity of both the old and the young while also skewering academic conferences and probing issues of sex, sexuality, and gender identity. The discussion questions at the end of each work raise thought-provoking issues and encourage creativity.

An engaging collection of writings that celebrates and reveals the historic Black Arts Movement.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9716352-2-7

Page Count: 104

Publisher: EquiDistancePress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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