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A Little Devil in America
- In Praise of Black Performance
- Narrated by: JD Jackson
- Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
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Brought to you by Penguin.
An electrifying celebration of Black performances, cultures and communities in the United States, from the New York Times best-selling poet and critic Hanif Abdurraqib.
At the March on Washington, Josephine Baker reflected on her life and her legacy. She had spent decades as one of the most successful entertainers in the world, but, she told the crowd, 'I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too'. Inspired by these words, Hanif Abdurraqib has written a stirring meditation on Black performance in the modern age, in which culture, history and his own lived experience collide.
With sharp insight, humour and heart, Abdurraqib explores a sequence of iconic and intimate performances that take him from mid-century Paris to the moon - and back down again, to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio. Each one, he shows, has layers of resonance across Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire and his own personal history of love and grief - whether it's the 27 seconds of 'Gimme Shelter' in which Merry Clayton sings, or the magnificent hours of Aretha Franklin's homegoing, Beyoncé's Super Bowl show or a schoolyard fistfight, Dave Chapelle's skits or a game of spades among friends.
"Gorgeous." (Brit Bennett)
"Pure genius." (Jacqueline Woodson)
"One of the most dynamic books I have ever read." (Clint Smith)
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- Anonymous User
One of the best books I've listened to in recent memory. Lovingly narrated by JD Jackson.
1 person found this helpful
- Thabani Tshuma
Poets really do write the most gorgeous prose!!! absolutely stunning! This both wrecked me and warmed my soul.