A Little Devil in America

I tackled this book because it fell under the auspices of Black performers and their impact on culture and audiences. There is a justified rage permeating through the book that makes for an emotionally difficult read. Yet I was spellbound on the chapter about a female magician named Ellen Armstrong. The chapter ends with a treatise by the author that states, “You who might read this or hear this or stumble upon it and hope to find some answer or absolution within. This goes out to the sins; I cannot crawl myself out of in order to forgive the ones you might be buried under. This one goes out to all of the best stories I have never told. The ones I will hold close until I can pass them down to someone ese who pass them down. I have no real magic to promise any of you. I am praying for the most unspectacular exits.”

His impressions of Merry Clayton, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Joe Tex, and Aretha Franklin are gut wrenching discourses that will compel you to rethink these artists and how you have related to them.

Hanif Abdurraqib & Nate Marshall: A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance – YouTube

Hanif Abdurraqib – Wikipedia

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