"A meaningful panoramic view of what it means to be human...Cause for celebration." --Times-Picayune
From the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Let the Dead Bury Their Dead comes a moving, cliché-shattering group portrait of African Americans at the turn of the twenty-first century.
In a hypnotic blend of oral history and travel writing, Randall Kenan sets out to answer a question that has has long fascinated him: What does it mean to be black in America today? To find the answers, Kenan traveled America--from Alaska to Louisiana, from Maine to Las Vegas--over the course of six years, interviewing nearly two hundred African Americans from every conceivable walk of life. We meet a Republican congressman and an AIDS activist; a Baptist minister in Mormon Utah and an ambitious public-relations major in North Dakota; militant activists in Atlanta and movie folks in Los Angeles. The result is a marvellously sharp, full picture of contemporary African American lives and experiences.
About the Author
Randall Kenan is the author of several books including James Baldwin: American Writer, and Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the 21st Century. He work has been awarded a Guggenheim, Whiting Writers Award, Sherwood Anderson Award, John Dos Passos Award, and Rome Prize. He teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"A masterwork....Pulsates with the multilayered rhythms of an epic."--Chicago Tribune
"Fascinating, maddening, illuminating, and revelatory....Novelists would commit murder for material this juicy and topical." --The Village Voice
"A work of insight and compassion." --The New York Times Book ReviewRandall Kena