Catel et Bocquet retracent le destin de la fascinante Joséphine Baker dans un magnifique roman (bio)graphique tout en noir et blanc. En 500 pages, les auteurs nous dévoilent toutes les facettes de cette femme emplie de convictions : muse de nombreux artistes, militante contre la ségrégation raciale, agent du contre-espionnage de la France Libre, mère adoptive d’une douzaine d’enfants venus d’horizons divers… elle était décidément bien plus qu’une danseuse de cabaret affublée d’une ceinture de bananes...
Ishmael Reed goes too far, again! Just as the fugitive slaves went to Canada and challenged the prevailing view that slaves were well off under their masters, Ishmael Reed has gone all the way to Quebec-where this book is published-to challenge the widespread opinion that racism is no longer a factor in American life.
In some ways, says Reed, the United States very much resembles the country of the 1850s. The representations of blacks in popular culture are throwbacks to the days of minstrelsy. Politicians are raising stereotypes about blacks reminiscent of those that the fugitive slaves found it necessary to combat: that they are lazy and dependent and need people to manage them.
Ishmael Reed establishes his diagnosis of a nervous breakdown in three parts. Part I on a black president of the United States is entitled "Chief Executive and Chief Exorcist, Too?" Part II on culture and representations of African Americans in our supposed post-race era, "Coonery and Buffoonery." In Part III, "As Relayed by Themselves, " cultural figures have a chance to tell the story in their own words.
Ishmael Reed is an essayist, novelist, poet and playwright, and a prizewinner in all categories. He taught at the University of California (Berkeley) for thirty-five years, as well as at Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. Reed is a member of Harvard's Signet Society and Yale's Calhoun Society. He lives in Oakland, California.