SEARCH FOR THE NEW LAND by Julius Lester

SEARCH FOR THE NEW LAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This collage of poetry, diary excerpts, journalistic retrospection, etc. elegiacally evokes the Dylan era. Quite a contrast with Lester's 1969 denunciation of white radicals and his bombastic, pre-visionary Look Out Whitey! Black Power's Gon' Get Your Mama! Notwithstanding the advance publicity emphasis on the book's only remarks about revolution and whitey-hating, Lester sounds here like any postgraduate activist interpreting the younger generation to the elder and reminding them about Hiroshima and McCarthyism. Occasionally he strikes a spark in his black power pundit style: it's become ""well-nigh impossible to turn on the television set and not see a nigger. . . . Things were supposed to be getting better because you could sit behind a desk at Chase Manhattan with a 12-foot-high Afro and dashiki made by Jomo Kenyatta's grandmother. . . ."" But his reminiscences (64 in the Delta, '67 in Cuba and North Vietnam, the Pentagon march and the Chicago convention) offer little insight into the events or himself. For reasons best known to Lester, they are interspersed with news clips about parricides and infanticides. Other items are broken up into black verse--it. doesn't work, since many of them were initially written with an ersatz lyricism and coy understatement which the altered form only serves to emphasize. On the whole the book seems tendentious without point, too slight and slick for its subject matter.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1969
Publisher: Dial