PositiveUSA Today... meticulous research ... Reclamation flourishes in bringing a new generation of Heminges and Jeffersons out of the shadows. But more importantly, this forceful piece of micro-history builds on the brilliant and breathtaking scholarship of Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family while adding a sturdy stone onto America’s shaky blueprint.
Ashley C. Ford
RaveUSA TodaySomebody’s Daughter is smoothly written and marked by moments of alert complexity. Ford borrows from her literary foremother Zora Neale Hurston — especially Hurston’s juxtaposition of happiness to intimacy with the sun ... Somebody’s Daughter is a thoughtful debut. Ford writes with a flush and sophisticated pen. But the heartbeat of Ford’s firstborn is her ability to pinpoint critical moments on her self-discovering journey, and, like Baldwin and Abdurraqib, find respectable ways to perform and not drown in her suffering.
PositiveUSA TodayThe way in which Abdurraqib writes about performance in Little Devil in America\' posits Black freedom ... Overall, Little Devil in America is reminiscent of the brilliant scholarship of Robin D.G. Kelley, whose questions center on everyday forms of resistance in popular culture and in the lives of general laborers. Little Devil in America sheds light on repeated small acts of joy that lift us during traumatic experiences.
PositiveUSA TodayRapper Talib Kweli is the latest wordsmith to add memoir to his resume and to the growing body of hip-hop lit with his freshman read, Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story [...] The Brooklyn-raised MC invites readers into his life as a student of hip-hop, Black liberation and Pan-Africanism ... Overall, Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story shows how hip-hop inspires alternative education. With a music career spanning over two decades, Kweli has never swayed from themes of Black Freedom. Both Vibrate Higher and Kweli’s music catalog are in conversation with the recent scholarship of Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor\'s From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Kehinde Andrews\' Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century and C.L.R. James\' A History of Pan-African Revolt, which all speak to the power of rebellion and exploring Blackness.
Robert Jones Jr
RaveUSA Today... an engrossing and magically written debut novel ... packed with otherworldly and supremely artful storytelling, and readers will surely get lost in a radiant romance. But most important, Jones adds to the growing body of literature that reimagines slavery ... and to queer theory, in which Jones’ predecessor James Baldwin shed light on, disrupted and intersected with race.
RaveVibe... a scholarly, yet highly entertaining codex showing the solid economic stability reaped by crack dealers ... Crack reads like an absorbing straight-to-video narrative and a hollywood-esque television special with a slight academic voice ... Farber also offers valid critique of Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s \'War on Drugs\' ... Farber does what he sets out to do with Crack, and that’s to show how poor men and women created multi-million dollar avenues of revenue within a larger consumer market.
PositiveVibeHere, Coates is more straightforward, which surprisingly doesn’t take away from his creativity. The candidness and cleverness that packs The Water Dancer is reminiscent of Coates comic book writing ... stands alone in the fact that this book doesn’t dwell on the brutalities of slavery. Instead, Coates uses his voice to focus on the magical, mental powers of a black man--sort of like he does when writing his Black Panther comic strips. While The Water Dancer is candid, Coates does add an unexamined layer of mental acuity to the story of slavery.