It costs $3 more than it does in the U.S., but I can still get the NY Review of Books in Korea. Sweet. Yessssss.
In the Sept 27 issue, there’s a great review by Kwame Anthony Appiah called “What Was Africa to Them?” Although he doesn’t review Black Power in the article, Appiah foregrounds his entire review of five other books with Richard Wright’s book (which I am now going to order from What the Book, as I am completely over feeling guilty about having to buy every single book that I read since there’s no English-language library here!).
Anyway, I would love to post the whole review online, but I can’t, so how about one paragraph?
On Wright’s first day in the Gold Coast, a salesman in a store asked him whether he knew where his African ancestors came from. Wright recounts, “‘Well,’ I said softly, ‘you know, you fellows who sold us and the white men who bought us didn’t keep any records.'” What stands between Wright and Africa, in the end, is the history of slavery; for him, as for many children of the black diaspora, the Middle Passage represents both an undeniable link and an inescapable rupture.
Compare that with “inter”country adoption/adoptees returning to Korea — notice any similarities?
There is also just so much other good stuff in that article. My copy is all red now because of so much underlining.
I think if I ever went back to school, I’d study African American history, just because wouldn’t it be great to have a bunch of companions, literary and otherwise, who get it?