Meet Ishmael Reed at the book launch.
To those who say ISHMAEL REED is “Going Too Far,” he replies, “They don’t know how far I’ve gone — all the way to Quebec,” to publish another book of essays after Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media, The Return of the Nigger Breakers, also published by Baraka Books in 2010.
GOING TOO FAR, ESSAYS ABOUT AMERICA’S NERVOUS BREAKDOWN will be launched on Friday, October 12 starting at 6 p.m.
CÉDA, Petite Bourgogne/St-Henri
2515, rue Delisle
Montréal (Métro Lionel-Groulx)
Ishmael Reed likens his coming to Canada to the fugitive slaves who, from Canada, were able to challenge the prevailing view that slaves were well off under their masters. Ishmael Reed challenges 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.
RSVP. email@example.com or 514-808-8504.
JAZZ too: The launch is being held in Little Burgundy, where jazz in Montreal was born. To welcome the man about whom The New York Times wrote, “Among American writers, Ishmael Reed is probably the one whose sensibility is closest to jazz,” there will be a short jazz performance by budding jazz musicians.