"Taking its title from Danger Mouse's pioneering mashup of Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' The White Album, Kevin Young's encyclopedic book combines essay, cultural criticism, and lyrical choruses to illustrate the African American tradition of lying-telling tales, fibbing, improvising, jazzing up, "storying." What emerges is a persuasive argument for the many ways that African American culture is American culture, and for the centrality of art-and artfulness-to our daily lives. Moving from gospel to soul, funk to freestyle, Young shifts through the shadows, the bootleg, the remix-all the grey areas of our history, literature, and music."--Cover p. .
Overture Elsewhere. The shadow book ; How not to be a slave : on the Black art of escape ; Chorus One : Steal away : slavery and its discontents Strange fruit. Broken tongue : Paul Laurence Dunbar, his descendants, and the dance of intellect ; Chorus Two : It don't mean a thing : the blues mask of Modernism ; "If you can't read, run anyhow!" : Langston Hughes and the poetics of refusal Heaven is Negro. Chorus Three : Ugly beauty : Postmodernism and all that jazz ; Broken giraffe : Bob Kaufman, the song, and the silence ; Chorus Four : Moanin' : soul music and the power of pleasure Cosmic slop. Interstellar space : toward a post-soul poetics ; Final chorus : Planet Rock : the end of the record. The third coming ; 100 guns ; 36 chambers ; 99 problems ; Deadism.