A Little Devil In America: In Praise Of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib

The Blurb On The Back:

A kaleidoscopic history of Black performance, from Josephine Baker to the Midwest punk scene, through sport, sit-coms, stand-up and more.

In A Little Devil In America, music critic and poet Hanif Abdurraqib weaves a unique and intimate history of Black performance, in which culture, politics and lived experience collide.  Taking readers from mid-century Paris to the moon, via dive bars, Broadway, and a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio, Abdurraqib illuminates the poignancy and power of Black performance, whether the stage is vast – as in Beyoncé’s Super Bowl show – or small, as for a schoolyard fistfight.  Each of these moments, Abdurraqib reveals, has layers of resonance in Black and white culture, the politics of American empire, and his own personal history of grief and love.

Filled with sharp insight, humour and heart, and infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians the author loves, A Little Devil In America is a celebration of Black performance as it has unfolded and endured to shape individual lives and entire cultures. 

You can order A LITTLE DEVIL IN AMERICA: IN PRAISE OF BLACK PERFORMANCE by Hanif Abdurraqib from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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