Chet Baker

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Deep in a Dream   By James Gavin As Though I Had Wings   By Chet Baker   At 3 a.m. on May 13, 1988, Chet Baker nodded out, threw himself out, or was thrown out of, a hotel room window in Amsterdam, quite as if he had wings. Long ago and far away, I dreamed a [...]

Pimpnology

Coney Island Pimpnology 1994

Pimpnology: Regarding Players, Hoes, Johns & The Life Capitalism 101:  Urban anthropologists Christina and Richard Milner’s keen street ecology, Black Players: The Secret World of Black Pimps (Little, Brown and Co., 1972), laid out the game as played by what, in the early 70s, was commonly referred to as the System.  In the System, “Each [...]

On the Origin & Importance of Small & Fugitive Pieces

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The Black World Today Harlem, New York I’ve recently read, with great interest, that the African American Literature section of the Borders Books store at the Stonecrest mall in Lithonia, Ga, is suffering a pestilence of “pornography for black women.” The earnest author, most recently of A Love Story, Nick Chiles reports to the New [...]

Chinua Achebe

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KURT THOMETZ NEW YORK CITY Things Falling Together On Saturday, May 4, the great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart, A Man of the People, Anthills of the Savannah) spoke at NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall. It was an elegant venue for the man who is arguably the greatest literary stylist of the second half of [...]