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.

106-Word Review of “Being The Ricardos”

Pre-feminist positioning

Yes, the impersonations are far from perfect. No, regardless of what you’ve heard or read, the acting is great–particularly J.K. Simmons as William Frawley/Fred Mertz. Yes, it’s amazing to see that two of the smartest people in Hollywood in the early 1950s were a has-been movie-star white woman and a Latin signer, actor and bandleader. Although it takes the now-standard liberties with the truth, this whole flick is about how innately intelligent and savvy they were–how both were five steps ahead of everyone else. In the end, this docudrama shows, if not argues, that they were too smart and too powerful for each other.

My Root Article On The 50th Anniversary of “The Autobiography Of Malcolm X As Told To Alex Haley” (Its Full Title, BTW)……

the_autobiography_of_malcolm_x
……is here.