The Black Artist? A Very Belated 158-Word Review of “Elvis”

Freedom Suite?

An overlong but serious and well-done meditation on how Black American artistry is the engine for true 20th-century American freedom of any type, perhaps of any time. The first half grounds itself in a Magic Negro experience par excellence, a remarkable 21st-century achievement because it pretends to take on the issues directly; it attempts to muddle the mind so that cultural theft is confused with willing baptism into the Church of the Real Thang. In this flick, Elvis–whose early life is presented with all the speed, rhythm and wail of early rock ‘n’ roll and then some–is recast by biopic history as a public champion of Black stylings, his struggles made to mirror and parallel another, and more dangerous, freedom movement taking place outside his door and largely off-camera. And then the bejeweled latter half, the slow, disappointing realization of being lied to, exploited and manipulated by The Man. Powerful, but ultimately, however well-intentioned, racially manipulative.

The History Writer, The American Storyteller, The PBS Narrator

I think he might have been the first white American historian I ever paid attention to back in the day when he used to host PBS’ American Experience.

Book Mini-Review: The Glossy Raised Fist

Writing history, making history, repeating for generations, then becoming history

Our Kind of Historian: The Work and Activism of Lerone Bennett, Jr.

E. James West.

Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 328 pp., $27.95.

West uses his mastery of the histories of Black Chicago and Ebony/Jet well here, significantly building on and adding to his previous work on the topic. An author explains an author in a wonderful intellectual history that sticks to very exciting facts: Lerone Bennett rises in a rising time, gaining knowledge and experience and pointing them toward what he would call in print the Black Revolution. He transforms himself from journalist to historian, from moderate, Kappa Morehouse Man to Pan-Africanist revolutionary. Absolutely necessary for those who want to understand 20th-century Black press history and, perhaps more importantly, how one “Black-famous” author’s Black history texts–all the outgrowth of one national Black magazine, a 20th-century legend once on every Black American coffee table–were significant weapons in the Black struggle before African-Americans had full access to local and national broadcasting and now international streaming.

Keeping That Black Absurdist Thang Going :)

My only other Fantastic Four. I am in mourning for this show’s demise already. I miss arguing with it, laughing with it, being simultaneously flabbergasted and confused by it. We shall not know its like again.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Trailer

It’s gonna be alright? 🙂

New Book On Lerone Bennett Jr. Out Now!

A 20th-century one-of-a-kind, forged and operating during a historical era

I put my request in tonight, and I can’t wait!!!!