Hanif Abdurraqib

A Little Devil in America
  • A Little Devil in America

  • 'Gorgeous' - Brit Bennett
    'Pure genius' - Jacqueline Woodson
    'One of the most dynamic books I have ever read' - Clint Smith

    At the March on Washington in 1963, Josephine Baker was in a mood to reflect on her life and her legacy. She had spent decades as one of the most successful entertainers the world had ever seen, but, she told the crowd, "I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too".

    Inspired by these words, celebrated poet and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound meditation on the history of Black performance and performers in America, in which culture, politics and his own lived experience collide. Each moment in each performance he examines has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and his own personal history of love and grief. Together they swell to an unique and urgent exaltation of Black communities, artistry, resistance and power.

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize, and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was named a book of the year by BuzzFeed, Esquire, NPR, O: The Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and Chicago Tribune, among others. His most recent book, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list.

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