Category Archives: Race

The circus brothers

My Times review of Truevine, Beth Macy’s account of the lives of the black albino brothers, George and Willie Muse, star turns in American freak shows: As minor celebrities they appeared in the pages of The New Yorker — usually … Continue reading

Posted in History, Race, Reviews | Tagged , , , ,

Out of the shadows

An intriguing book that sometimes tries too hard. My Times review of David Olusoga’s “Black and British: A Forgotten History” For all the fascinating material that it unearths, Black and British is not always an easy read. In his introduction … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics, Race, Reviews, UK politics | Tagged , ,

Re-imagining the Underground Railroad

The PR machine says it’s a modern masterpiece. I don’t think so. From my review in today’s Times: Who needs literary critics when you have Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey on your side? Colson Whitehead’s tale of fugitives from slavery … Continue reading

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A war zone called Chicago

When was the last time British news programmes ran anything substantial about the epidemic of violence in the Windy City? The stats are abysmal: In the first five months of 2016, someone was shot every two and a half hours … Continue reading

Posted in Race, US politics | Tagged ,

Notebook

Fifteen year-old Daniel Johnson had been in the backseat of that car. He had been riding with two other youths about his age and a mother and her two small children. A bullet had smacked into the car. Daniel had … Continue reading

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Notebook

Even within Harlem and away from white bigotry, Leslie faced marked prejudice against West Indians among American blacks. They were seen as tireless hustlers after everyone else’s jobs; as would-be entrepreneurs up to every sort of trick. Moreover, because they … Continue reading

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Over-hyped & over here

Every critic in America seems to be raving about Paul Beatty’s novel, “The Sellout”. I wish I knew why. My review in The Times: “Swiftian satire of the highest order,” declared The Wall Street Journal. “Among the most important and difficult … Continue reading

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Faces of Brazil

One of the official posters for the Olympics. (“It’s really hard for us in Brazil to choose one artist to represent the Games.”). When it comes to ideals of feminine beauty, on the other hand, the country still seems to prefer … Continue reading

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Politicians, Twitter & the “sneerocracy”

Is Jeremy Corbyn an antisemite? Was Boris Johnson being racist when he mentioned Obama’s Kenyan heritage in that Sun article? I’m not convinced about either case. To be honest, I wasn’t even outraged by that infamous poster of refugees that … Continue reading

Posted in Race, Social Media, UK politics | Tagged , , , , , ,

Another country

My Times review [£] of Margo Jefferson’s account of growing up in the African-American upper class: Here is a corner of life that normally goes unseen. We hear so much about race in America — almost every week, it seems, … Continue reading

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