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'I defy you to read this book and come away with a mind unchanged' John Jeremiah Sullivan 'Als has a serious claim to be regarded as the next James Baldwin' Observer 'I see how we are all the same, that none of us are white women or black men; rather, we're a series of mouths, and that every mouth needs filling: with something wet or dry, like love, or unfamiliar and savory, like love' White Girls is about, among other things, blackness, queerness, movies, Brooklyn, love (and the loss of love), AIDS, fashion, Basquiat, Capote, philosophy, porn, Louise Brooks and Michael Jackson. Freewheeling and dazzling, tender and true, it is one of the most highly acclaimed essay collections in years. 'A voice that's new, that comes as if from a different room. I defy you to read this book and come away with a mind unchanged' John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead 'Effortless, honest and fearless' Rich Benjamin, The New York Times 'Als is one of the most consistently unpredictable and surprising essayists out there, an author who confounds our expectations virtually every time he writes' David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times 'A comprehensive and utterly lovely collection of one of the best writers around' Eugenia Williamson, Boston Globe
This is the definitive visual account of the gay liberation movement in New York, following the Stonewall uprising in Greenwich Village in 1969, an event that marked the coming-out of New York's gay community. As a direct outcome of Stonewall, gay pride marches were held in 1970 in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. Fifty years later Pride will be celebrated in thousands of cities across the world.
This story of a man living every day in fear of his life for simply being black is as powerful today as it was when it was first published in 1947. The novel takes place in the space of four days in the life of Bob Jones, a black man who is constantly plagued by the effects of racism. Living in a society that is drenched in race consciousness has no doubt taken a toll on the way Jones behaves, thinks, and feels, especially when, at the end of his story, he is accused of a brutal crime he did not commit. "One of the most important American writers of the twentieth century ...[a] quirky American genius..."--Walter Mosley, author of Bad Boy Brawly Brown, Devil in a Blue Dress "If He Hollers is an austere and concentrated study of black experience, set in southern California in the early forties."--Independent Publisher
This text explores the story of a song that foretold a movement, and the lady who dared to sing it. In 1939, the performance of the song's evocative lyrics portraying the lynching of a black man in the Southern US sparked controversy, and sometimes violence, wherever Billie Holiday went. It was 25 years before Dr Martin Luther King Jr, led his famous march on Washington, yet "Strange Fruit" lived on. In this text Margolick chronicles its effect on those who experienced it first-hand: musicians, artists, journalists, intellectuals, students and even the waitresses and bartenders who worked in the clubs.
Mark Bradford is best known for dazzling, large-scale abstract paintings that examine the class-, race-, and gender-based economies that structure urban society in the United States. Gathering carefully chosen found and salvaged materials from the area surrounding his studio in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, Bradford engages in an intricate artistic process that involves both creation and destruction. His complex, fractured works address pressing political issues and the media's influence on contemporary society while cataloguing cultural change and the artist's personal responses to societal condition.
The first major book on this leading American artist, "Mark Bradford" features essays by distinguished authors who investigate how Bradford straddles the line between social critique and formal innovation, playing the two against one another to produce works of seduction and analysis. Topics include Bradford's debt to abstract expressionism, his relationship to the largely unknown history of twentieth-century abstraction by African American artists, his work as a public artist, and his interest in midcentury European collage and decollage practices.
Daring, fiercely original, and brilliant, The Women is at once a memoir, a psychological study, a sociopolitical manifesto, and an incisive adventure in literary criticism. It is conceived as a series of portraits analyzing the role that sexual and racial identity played in the lives and work of the writer's subjects. Als begins with his mother, a self-described "Negress", who would not be defined by the limitations of race and gender. He goes on to ask who the mother of Malcolm X was, and shows how her mixed-race background and eventual descent into madness contributed to her son's misogyny and racism. He describes how the brilliant, Harvard-educated Dorothy Dean rarely identified with other blacks or women, but deeply empathized with white gay men. Finally, he portrays the late Owen Dodson, a poet and dramatist who was female-identified and who played an important role in the author's own social and intellectual formation. Als submits both racial and sexual stereotypes to his inimitable scrutiny with relentless humor and sympathy. The results are exhilarating. The Women is that rarest of books: a memorable work of self-investigation that creates a form all its own.
Places for the Spirit is a stunning collection of over 80 documentary photographs of African American folk gardens and their creators in the Deep South (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina). These landscapes have a unique historical significance due to the design elements and spiritual meanings that have been traced to the yards and gardens of American slaves and further back to their prior African heritage. These deceptively casual or whimsical foliage arrangements are subtle and symbolic reminders of the divine in everyday life, the cycles of nature, and implied right and wrong ways to live. In the spirit of "outsider" art traditions, blues musical roots, and other such folk manifestations, these gardens have a unique aesthetic and cultural significance. Over 20 years in the making, this is the first collection of fine art photography to document this subject and, as such, it adds greatly to our understanding and appreciation of this disappearing element of African American culture.
This comprehensive monograph illuminates Wilcox's work in collaged movie and television footage and handmade animation--mythical romantic mini-narratives--with essays from Johanna Burton and "New Yorker" critic Hilton Als. Wilcox shoots in Super 8, both original footage and preexisting film from a video monitor, transfers his work to video for editing, and then to 16 millimeter for presentation. When it is shown, the sound of the projector dominates the gallery space, while the silence of the film itself indexes the impossibility of hearing the silent voices. There is no illusion of transparency, of believing one might share any kind of simple present with the characters on the screen. Instead, the transfers between formats give the collected imagery a sort of patina, suggesting not only temporal distance--the weight of history--but also a shift in the equilibrium of the senses. As seen at The Museum of Modern Art and the 2004 Whitney Biennial in New York.
African-American artist Kara Walker (born 1969) has been acclaimed internationally for her candid investigations of race, sexuality and violence through the lens of reconceived historical tropes. She had her first solo show at The Drawing Center in New York City in 1994 and, at the age of 28 in 1997, was one of the youngest people to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. This publication documents "Dust Jackets for the Niggerati--and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings Submitted Ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker," a major series of graphite drawings and hand-printed texts on paper that grew out of Walker's attempts to understand how interpersonal and geopolitical powers are asserted through the lives of individuals. In scenes that range from the grotesque to the humorous to the tragic, these works vividly and powerfully explore the themes of transition and migration that run through the African-American experience. The accompanying essays take us through Walker's saga of American experience--the dual streams of renewal and destruction that trace parallel lines through the last century's rapid urbanization and the complementary emergence of a "New Negro" identity. Fully illustrated with reproductions of the entire series, and designed by award-winning design studio CoMa with Walker's close collaboration, "Dust Jackets for the Niggerati" represents a major contribution to the career of one of our most significant and complex contemporary artists.
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