AALBC .com Platinum Poster
Post Number: 89
|Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 06:42 pm: |
Hello, Thumper. How have you been? Thanks for the feedback. I'm already familiar with Gerald Early, I just recently read his little book about Motown, "One Nation Under a Groove," which is not a history but rather a really fascinating socio-cultural analysis of Berry Gordy, the Motown "myth," and a lot more. So his (essentially negative) review of a book like Debra Dickerson's would usually carry more weight with me than Maslin's positive review, however, the judges of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award must feel similarly to Maslin because I noticed that they've selected it as a finalist for this year's award.
Another example would be The Failures of Integration by Sheryll Cashin, also a finalist for this year's H/W Legacy Award. Last year I read Charles Ogletree's "All Deliberate Speed," part history of Brown v. Board and part memoir (which gets into reparations, the Tulsa lawsuit, etc.). After finishing it, I checked the NY Times for a review and found it reviewed together with 2 other recent books about Brown, "Silent Covenants" by Derrick Bell and the Sheryll Cashin book. The reviewer made some distinctions between her book and the other two. Here's an example:
"both Bell and Ogletree place their educational emphasis on charter schools within the public system or independent and parochial schools outside it. . . Cashin is left defending the ever more elusive goal of integration, and it is no easy task. . . As for Bell and Ogletree, they lost the integration religion long ago, somewhere on the potholed road from Topeka to today."
So by choosing her book as a finalist for the award I would say that the judges are making a statement. I've seen it in the bookstore and she seems to have the knowledge of a policy insider, but judging by the back cover alone, she also has some opinions about the need for integration on a social level.
This'll sound glib, but there's no bigger intellectual than Dizzy Gillespie. So when a book or some music is really saying something, it's never irrelevant in my opinion, even if it's what people don't want to hear.