"A meaningful panoramic view of what it means to be human...Cause for celebration." --Times-Picayune
From the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Let the Dead Bury Their Dead
comes a moving, cliché-shattering group portrait of African Americans at the turn of the twenty-first century.
In a hypnotic blend of oral history and travel writing, Randall Kenan sets out to answer a question that has has long fascinated him: What does it mean to be black in America today? To find the answers, Kenan traveled America--from Alaska to Louisiana, from Maine to Las Vegas--over the course of six years, interviewing nearly two hundred African Americans from every conceivable walk of life. We meet a Republican congressman and an AIDS activist; a Baptist minister in Mormon Utah and an ambitious public-relations major in North Dakota; militant activists in Atlanta and movie folks in Los Angeles. The result is a marvellously sharp, full picture of contemporary African American lives and experiences.