“Trust Love All the Way”: Go See If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk, the Barry Jenkins movie based on the James Baldwin novel of the same name, is a fantastic, beautiful, political, loving movie. Trish Rivers and Fonny Hunt are a young Black couple in love and expecting a baby when Fonny is arrested for a rape he didn’t commit. https://youtu.be/N4m3t3G3Zqc Barry Jenkins …

Zadie Smith’s Swing Time

I liked, but did not love this book.The book begins with failure. Or “my humiliation” as the narrator, a young woman, puts it. The young woman has been sent back to London by some unknown employer. She is hiding in considerable affluence and is tasked with avoiding the public, not to escalate a situation. From …

Success as sole basis for respect can be ultimately dangerous. From Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann and the Holocaust. The thin volume includes the core of the Arendt’s reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the bureaucracy of the Holocaust, and the banality of evil. Arendt’s perspective is certainly controversial, but this small volume is required reading in …

Daughter: “Doing the Right Thing" While sad, if not depressed in tone, the breadth and breath of life in this song is astounding. The narrator, while isolated, has a way of talking about the world and herself that reminds me of a Margret Atwood character. This song’s dynamic doesn’t just develop, it ages. “Doing the Right …

“The Gray Complexity that is the Real Dixie”

Errin Whack,in an article for NPR’s Code Switch blog, reviews Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set A Watchman and argues that it is a revelation on race, even if that is uncomfortable for many fans of To Kill A Mockingbird:Truths can be hard, and truths about race in this country are often the hardest – especially when the revelations …

The New Torres Album is Even Better than the Hype

The new Torres album Sprinter is even better than the  hype by NPR Music had me believe.Strange Hellos is still one of the biggest songs I’ve heard in quite a while with an amazing musical breadth and emotional depth.A Proper Polish Welcome is as intimate and enchanting on the record as it was as a …

Black Children Matter

I basically inhaled Toni Morrison’s new novel God Help the Child because it left me breathless. It’s a short novel, but it  is so rich in everything: Language, narrative perspectives, themes, settings, characters. The prose is poetic, not as in lovely-beautiful but as in dense with emotional and intellectual heft. Characters and themes are true …