HOME: Social Essays by LeRoi Jones

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It would be difficult to indicate all the ideas in these ""social essays"" since poet-playwright-""raver"" Jones is not only a militant young man with ideas, but some of them have ""changed"" during this chronology of articles, essays, letters, speeches-1960-1965. From the beginning he has wanted to ""make it"" and he also wants to MOVE. Moving, in his case, is in a direct line away from the emasculated liberalism of America (""bland, cultureless, middle-headed"") and ""tokenism"" (the extension of meager privilege to a selected few-- Negroes) and toward ""Black is a Country."" In fact, from the beginning where he asserts that by the time this book appears, he ""will be even blacker"" and where he insists on being called an an Afro-American and not a Negro, one knows that he will reach the position (with Malcolm X) that Black People are a ""race, a culture, a Nation""; that ""integration is, again, merely whitening to fit the white soul's image""; that black is to be equated with dominant in ""Uncle Sap's,"" ""Uncle Sham's"" flabby society. Jones has a good deal to say about poetry, prizefighting, language, theatre (and his plays) and in particular about the Negro artist who has copped out; Baldwin and Abrahams are too hip to be ""real black men""; there is no Negro literature-- again Baldwin and Ellison are no better than Somerset Maugham. Jones believes that thought is more important than art; perhaps so; but one suspects that Jones is one of the artists to whom emotion is stronger than thought. This is fiercely combative- it MOVES.

ISBN: 1933354674
Publisher: Morrow