Busted in New York and Other Essays

Busted in New York and Other Essays

by Darryl Pinckney, Zadie Smith

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Overview

A collection of essays that blend the personal and the social, from the celebrated literary critic and novelist

In these twenty-five essays, Darryl Pinckney has given us a view of our recent racial history that blends the social and the personal and wonders how we arrived at our current moment. Pinckney reminds us that “white supremacy isn’t back; it never went away.” It is this impulse to see historically that is at the core of Busted in New York and Other Essays, which traces the lineage of black intellectual history from Booker T. Washington through the Harlem Renaissance, to the Black Panther Party and the turbulent sixties, to today’s Afro-pessimists, and celebrated and neglected thinkers in between.

These are capacious essays whose topics range from the grassroots of protest in Ferguson, Missouri, to the eighteenth-century Guadeloupian composer Joseph Bologne, from an unsparing portrait of Louis Farrakhan to the enduring legacy of James Baldwin, the unexpected story of black people experiencing Russia, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight, and the painter Kara Walker. The essays themselves are a kind of record, many of them written in real-time, as Pinckney witnesses the Million Man March, feels and experiences the highs and lows of Obama’s first presidential campaign, explores the literary black diaspora, and reflects on the surprising and severe lesson he learned firsthand about the changing urban fabric of New York.

As Zadie Smith writes in her introduction to the book: “How lucky we are to have Darryl Pinckney who, without rancor, without insult, has, all these years, been taking down our various songs, examining them with love and care, and bringing them back from the past, like a Sankofa bird, for our present examination. These days Sankofas like Darryl are rare. Treasure him!”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374717148
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 11/12/2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
File size: 923 KB

About the Author

Darryl Pinckney, a long time contributor to The New York Review of Books, is the author of novels, Black Deutschland and High Cotton, and the works of nonfiction, Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy and Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature.
Darryl Pinckney, a longtime contributor to The New York Review of Books, is the author of the novel, High Cotton (winner of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), and the works of nonfiction, Blackballed: The Black Vote and U.S. Democracy and Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature. He is a recipient of the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award for Distinguished Prose from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Thus Far on the Way, BY ZADIE SMITH

I
Slouching Toward Washington
Busted in New York
Beyond the Fringe

II
Dreams from Obama
Obama and the Black Church
What He Really Said
Deep in the Bowl

III
Invisible Black America
In Ferguson
Black Lives and the Police

IV
Pilot Me
Austere and Lonely Offices
The Great Puzzle
The Afro-Pessimist Temptation

V
Paris: The Black Maestro
On Your Own in Russia
How I Got Over
Banjo

VI
The Real Harlem
The Genius of Blackness
Black Master

VII
Looking at Selma
Under the Spell of James Baldwin
Moon over Miami

VIII
Miss Aretha Franklin

Acknowledgments

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