Open Daily: 10am - 10pm | Alley-side Pickup: 10am - 7pm 3038 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN
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  • Open Daily: 10am - 10pm
    Alley-side Pickup: 10am - 7pm

    3038 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN
    612-822-4611

Open Daily: 10am - 10pm | Alley-side Pickup: 10am - 7pm
3038 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN
612-822-4611
A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

Abdurraqib, Hanif

Hardcover

Literary CriticismGeneral United States HistoryMusic Reference

Publisher Price: $27.00

ISBN10: 1984801198
ISBN13: 9781984801197
Published: Mar 30 2021
Pages: 320
Weight: 0.95
Height: 1.20 Width: 5.70 Depth: 8.20
Language: English
A stirring meditation on Black performance in America from the New York Times bestselling author of Go Ahead in the Rain

Whether heralding unsung entertainers or reexamining legends, Hanif Abdurraqib weaves together gorgeous essays that reveal the resilience, heartbreak, and joy within Black performance. I read this book breathlessly.--Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half

At the March on Washington in 1963, Josephine Baker was fifty-seven years old, well beyond her most prolific days. But in her speech she was in a mood to consider her life, her legacy, her departure from the country she was now triumphantly returning to. I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too, she told the crowd. Inspired by these few words, Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines--whether it's the twenty-seven seconds in Gimme Shelter in which Merry Clayton wails the words rape, murder, a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt--has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib's own personal history of love, grief, and performance.

Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain, infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians he loves. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space--from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.

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Music Reference