Thread: February is Black History Month - recommend titles?

BrerRabbit - 1/28/2020 at 05:30 PM

Feb comin up. Some great books, movies, music out there on the American black culture - any you have come across that you would especially recommend?

Landmarks for me:

Native Son - Richard Wright (all time best black novel/writer imo, reads like Dostoyevsky, every bit as tense and chilling as Crime and Punishment)

Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison

Soul On Ice - Eldridge Cleaver

A real eye-opener that was chockful of info I was totally unaware of, great book by Helene Lee - The First Rasta: Leonard Howell and the Rise of Rastafarianism

Just recently - White Rage - Carol Anderson, Ph.D - Stunning. Openly ashamed to admit I used to presume to entertain any dialogue at all on post Civil War black history before I read this, as I knew zero and worse, thought I knew anything.


btw - Porgy and Bess this weekend Feb 1, 5, 8 from the Met. at Fathom Events maybe a theater near you, should be excellent, Angel Blue supposed to be a knockout Bess, worth a post in Anything Goes:

https://www.fathomevents.com/events/met1920-porgy-and-bess


















[Edited on 1/28/2020 by BrerRabbit]

[Edited on 1/28/2020 by BrerRabbit]


cyclone88 - 1/28/2020 at 05:46 PM

quote:
Feb comin up.


Mr. Rabbit, I know you like to move things along & encourage all kinds of topics which are appreciated, but could we please wait for Feb to actually arrive before we get into it? I mean amazon has same day delivery if we absolutely positively have to have a book or DVD on Feb. 1.

I'm still recovering from Christmas that started before Halloween in October which is Breast Cancer Awareness & LGBT History month. Feb is also American Heart month when we will all be bombarded by the dangers of being born into a family w/a history of heart disease. We're still in Human Trafficking Prevention month.


Stephen - 1/28/2020 at 05:48 PM

Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin - 1961, made into a movie 3 years later
Another very good 1964 film, Nothing But A Man


BrerRabbit - 1/28/2020 at 05:58 PM

true cyclone, I jumped the gun, but mainly wanted to get the word out on Porgy and Bess this coming Saturday - also my mind is like a sieve - gotta nail stuff down when I think of it. Sorry to detract from National Tshirt Day or whatever. I actually think Black History Month is pretty cool, not just another ThisOrThat Day or Month.

quote:
Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin - 1961


Now that was a surreal one. Practically cultural suicide back then. Crazy book. Thanks for the reminder, had forgotten that one.


BIGV - 1/28/2020 at 06:15 PM

"The Watermelon Man"...1970


BrerRabbit - 1/28/2020 at 06:36 PM

quote:
"The Watermelon Man"...1970


Never seen this one - iconic title. Thanks it is on my radar now. I can say I know and enjoy this singular track by Herbie Hancock of the same name, anyone hasnt heard Headhunters, man time to join the living:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4bjPlBC4h_8


cyclone88 - 1/28/2020 at 08:49 PM

quote:
true cyclone, I jumped the gun, but mainly wanted to get the word out on Porgy and Bess this coming Saturday - also my mind is like a sieve - gotta nail stuff down when I think of it. Sorry to detract from National Tshirt Day or whatever. I actually think Black History Month is pretty cool, not just another ThisOrThat Day or Month.


Porgy & Bess was great when I saw it at the met in the fall & I highly recommend that everyone - even those who profess not to like/know anything about/or hate opera - see the HD version at movie theatres. I'm not opposed to named months (the ones I mentioned are serious topics), but I have a pet peeve about always being months ahead in the calendar. I discovered Valentine's Day products at the grocery the day after Christmas a few years ago. I need a minute.


playallnite - 1/28/2020 at 10:24 PM

A real eye-opener that was chockful of info I was totally unaware of, great book by Helene Lee - The First Rasta: Leonard Howell and the Rise of Rastafarian

Thank You, Jah Rastafari !


BrerRabbit - 1/28/2020 at 10:44 PM

@playallnight - seriously if you have an interest in Rastafarianism and how that got going - this book The First Rasta is a goldmine, leads to some beginnings you would least expect, to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Marcus Garvey, intriguing.


cyclone88 - 2/1/2020 at 02:37 PM

quote:
Porgy and Bess this weekend Feb 1, 5, 8 from the Met. at Fathom Events maybe a theater near you, should be excellent, Angel Blue supposed to be a knockout Bess, worth a post in Anything Goes:

https://www.fathomevents.com/events/met1920-porgy-and-bess




BrerRabbit - 2/1/2020 at 04:13 PM

Looks like I cant go to the live broadcast of Porgy and Bess today - will try to catch one of the followups Feb 5, 8


Jerry - 2/6/2020 at 05:25 AM

I'm trying to find some cd's I burned a looong time ago of the Ham&Egg Review held annually at Ft. Valley State College. A lot of the old Blues masters made appearances and many soul singers of the late 50's through the 60's recorded some of the music played there.

Movies: Anything with Sidney Poitier with "Lillies Of The Field" being a good one.


Stephen - 2/6/2020 at 02:17 PM

Good call, A Patch of Blue, and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner might be 2 other Sidney Poitier films


lukester420 - 2/6/2020 at 03:38 PM

“How to be an Antiracist” By Ibram X. Kendi.
Interesting take from an interesting writer.

I also finally reclaimed my copy of “White Rage”, thank you for reminding me about that title.

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/02/708821115/this-is-for-the-undefeated-a-new-picture-book-celebrates-black-brilliance " target=_blank> https://www.npr.org/2019/04/02/708821115/this-is-for-the-undefeated-a-new-p icture-book-celebrates-black-brilliance

This book just received an award for from the American Library Association . Should be required reading at every elementary school, Black History month or not.
Very good illustrations from what I’ve seen.


gotdrumz - 2/7/2020 at 03:19 PM

I read a book in high school about how dominant tribes in Africa brought captives from the inland regions and traded them to the slavers who were shipping them off elsewhere. Seems the indigenous were exploiting their own for power and profit way back then seems only a certain face gets the credit for that atrocity.


BrerRabbit - 2/7/2020 at 03:37 PM


quote:
I read a book in high school about how dominant tribes in Africa brought captives from the inland regions and traded them to the slavers who were shipping them off elsewhere. Seems the indigenous were exploiting their own for power and profit way back then seems only a certain face gets the credit for that atrocity.


It would have taken armies of whites to invade and round up Africans. Certainly more than a few scarred old slavers. Anyway Africans capturing and selling people is the standard beginning of any book or movie about the subject since "Roots".






Skydog32103 - 2/7/2020 at 03:55 PM

quote:
Seems the indigenous were exploiting their own for power and profit way back then seems only a certain face gets the credit for that atrocity.


if you read it in high school, and if it’s been in movies, then it’s out there. don’t fret.


lukester420 - 2/7/2020 at 06:35 PM

quote:
I read a book in high school about how dominant tribes in Africa brought captives from the inland regions and traded them to the slavers who were shipping them off elsewhere. Seems the indigenous were exploiting their own for power and profit way back then seems only a certain face gets the credit for that atrocity.



Thanks for sharing the title....

Back to the actual topic,
In music, I am on a serious Mingus kick right now, one can never go wrong with his music, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat is the gold standard of jazz tunes to me.
Also one can never ever go wrong with Sun Ra. Anyone who has not seen Space is the Place is missing out on a classic piece of African American culture.


gotdrumz - 2/7/2020 at 06:45 PM

quote:
don’t fret.


Wasn't
Just sharing some black history


gotdrumz - 2/7/2020 at 06:54 PM

quote:



Thanks for sharing the title....

.



If it was something I remembered, you'd a gotten the title. Still does 't change the fact of the matter. It was something I researched on my own aside from the B/S history taught by the public school system in California during the late 70's.


Stephen - 2/9/2020 at 04:37 PM

Wish I’d spotted it before, but Hank Aaron turned 86 last week - he & Willie Mays (88) are among the last who played in the great Negro Leagues & endured segregation transitioning to MLB

& it was no different for Hank decades later when he broke Babe Ruth’s HR record - cheered by most, there was still enough vitriol, he recalled in an espn show, to show that white hate still festered in society

So happy belated birthday Hammerin’ Henry Aaron, one of the greats

[Edited on 2/9/2020 by Stephen]


BrerRabbit - 2/9/2020 at 04:56 PM

Great to hear Hank still kickin. Never thought about the heat from breaking Babe Ruth's record - that must have been intense.


lukester420 - 2/10/2020 at 03:30 PM

Even if you aren't a baseball fan, Ken Burns' Baseball doc has a couple episodes worth watching about the stars of the Negro Leagues and the challenges faced by those trying to break the color barrier.
I've always been fascinated by the role of musicians and athletes in the Civil Rights movement


BrerRabbit - 2/10/2020 at 08:19 PM

We wouldn't even be here on this thread if it wasn't for black musicians - we would be chatting it up on god only knows what type of music website, maybe a nice wholesome discussion of Wagner, and how wonderful it is we withstood the evil influence of Negermusik:



- Nazi propaganda poster - translates as "Degenerate Music - A settlement of State Council".

from wiki: Negermusik ("Negro Music") was a pejorative term used by the Nazis during the Third Reich to signify musical styles and performances by African-Americans that were of the jazz and swing music genres. They viewed these musical styles as inferior works belonging to an "inferior race" and therefore prohibited.


lukester420 - 2/13/2020 at 02:25 PM

https://youtu.be/Z8nppTSY-Rs
One of my favorite scenes from the film.

I wish Sun Ra got more credit for pioneering a lot of the Afrofuturism that has become a big part of pop culture. Everyone talks about Parliament Funkadelic and rightfully so, but he was light-years ahead of them.


Stephen - 2/15/2020 at 02:36 PM

Thanks for sharing that lukester420, it’s special - was there ever a more avant-garde/acquired-taste musician/band than Sun Ra & the Arkestra - Ornette Coleman is commercial by comparison

Who was the first person to set foot on the North Pole - Matthew Henson, a black man

[Edited on 2/15/2020 by Stephen]


BrerRabbit - 2/15/2020 at 09:12 PM

quote:
Who was the first person to set foot on the North Pole - Matthew Henson, a black man


I can understand that, just headed north and kept on going.


Stephen - 2/15/2020 at 11:47 PM

Who broke the color line in the NBA
On this their All Star weekend they should be celebrating that person, Wataru “Wat” Misaka, a brown man

Passed away last Nov at age 95 - born & died in Utah
Was of Japanese descent - led the Utah Utes to the NCAA championship in 1944, then the NIT title in ‘47

Played 3 games w/Knicks when it was known as the BAA - said he never experienced discrimination


BrerRabbit - 2/19/2020 at 01:08 AM

quote:
Afrofuturism


Speaking of Afrofuturism (cool word, new to me! thx) - Have a title to recommend: The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin.

Not black history, but black futurism, well actually human futurism from a black view puts it better - FANFREKINTASTIC. N.K. Jemisin, is making black history - first female black author to earn a Hugo, as well as sweep other big book awards, and not only once but an unprecedented Hugo three years running 2015-16-17 for every volume in The Broken Earth Trilogy, hyperbolinfinite sci-fantasy.

If you dig world-building epics like Dune this is custom-tailored for you. Reading now, it is a trip and a half, what a ride. Think Ursula K. Leguin, Octavia Butler, Frank Herbert.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-series/broken-earth/


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