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Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line
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summary
Los Angeles has had a ringside seat during the long last century of racial struggle in America. The bouts have been over money and jobs and police brutality, over politics and poetry and rap and basketball. Minimizing blackness itself has been touted as the logical and ideal solution to the struggle, but in Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line Erin Aubry Kaplan begs to differ. With eloquence, wit, and high prose style she crafts a series of compelling arguments against black eclipse.

Here are thirty-three insightful and wide-ranging pieces of literary, cultural, political, and personal reporting on the contemporary black American experience. Drawn from the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Salon.com, and elsewhere, this collection also features major new articles on President Barack Obama, black and Hispanic conflicts, and clinical depression. In each, Kaplan argues with meticulous observation, razor-sharp intelligence, and sparkling prose against the trend of black erasure, and for the expansion of horizons of the black American story.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Series Page
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Foreword. The Physics of Race
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xix-xxiv
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  1. Generation I
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. The Butt
  2. pp. 3-15
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  1. Black Like I Thought I Was: Race, dna, and the Man Who Knows Too Much
  2. pp. 15-18
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  1. Fire and Ice: Making It Up
  2. pp. 19-22
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  1. Blackness Itself
  2. pp. 22-28
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  1. Down and Downer*
  2. pp. 29-36
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  1. Blue Like Me: On Race and Depression
  2. pp. 37-54
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  1. State of a Nation
  2. pp. 55-56
  1. Barack Obama: Miles Traveled, Miles to Go*
  2. pp. 57-70
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  1. Losing New Orleans
  2. pp. 70-77
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  1. Thoroughly Modern Mammy: Of Coons, Pickaninnies, and Gold Dust Twins: Why Do Black Curios Stay Chic?
  2. pp. 77-80
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  1. Behind the American-History Curtain: Washington, D.C., and the Lessons of Memory
  2. pp. 81-83
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  1. They’re Going Crazy Out There
  2. pp. 84-86
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  1. Starring:
  2. pp. 87-88
  1. The Accidental Populist: Magic Johnson Gives Some Back
  2. pp. 89-101
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  1. The Empress’s New Clothes: Serena, to the Dismay of Many, Makes the Scene
  2. pp. 102-105
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  1. Falling for Tiger Woods
  2. pp. 105-109
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  1. Homeboys in Outer Space and Other Transgressions: TV in Black and White
  2. pp. 110-113
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  1. White Man with Attitude: How Randy Newman Went from Pop Music’s Reigning Schlub to Movie-Music Royalty
  2. pp. 113-126
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  1. Stomping Grounds
  2. pp. 127-128
  1. Welcome to Inglewood — Leave Your Aspirations Behind! Why Coming Home Has Been a Labor of Tough Love
  2. pp. 129-144
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  1. Rags to Richard*
  2. pp. 144-151
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  1. The Eastside Boys
  2. pp. 152-163
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  1. The King of Compton: Mayor Omar Bradley and His Reign of Chaos
  2. pp. 163-176
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  1. Wearing the Shirt*
  2. pp. 177-182
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  1. Lost Soul: A Lament for Black Los Angeles
  2. pp. 182-196
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  1. Mothers and Fathers
  2. pp. 197-198
  1. The Last Campaign
  2. pp. 199-203
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  1. Mother Roux
  2. pp. 203-207
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  1. Mother, Unconceived
  2. pp. 208-212
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  1. Teach on That
  2. pp. 213-214
  1. Held Back: The State of Black Education
  2. pp. 215-226
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  1. Man and Superwoman
  2. pp. 227-231
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  1. The Glamorous Life*
  2. pp. 231-241
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  1. The Boy of Summer
  2. pp. 241-244
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  1. Unsocial Studies
  2. pp. 244-256
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  1. Post Script
  2. pp. 257-258
  1. The Color of Love
  2. pp. 259-263
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  1. Married People Live Longer than Single People
  2. pp. 263-278
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  1. Publication Credits
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