The Black Body
What does it mean to have, or to love, a black body? Taking on the challenge of interpreting the black body's dramatic role in American culture are thirty black, white, and biracial contributors—award-winning actors, artists, writers, and comedians—including voices as varied as President Obama's inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander, actor and bestselling author Hill Harper, political strategist Kimball Stroud, television producer Joel Lipman, former Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts, and singer-songwriter Jason Luckett.
Ranging from deeply serious to playful, sometimes hilarious, musings, these essays explore myriad issues with wisdom and a deep sense of history. Meri Nana-Ama Danquah's unprecedented collection illuminates the diversity of identities and individual experiences that define the black body in our culture.
"An intimate collection of thoughts about a subject which too often causes people to retreat across distances seemingly too wide to cross." —Awo Ansu, New York Examiner
"Danquah's literary libation to the Black body consists of a collaboration of folks—Black, White, and both—all of whom seek to convey what it's like to live in one, be a part of one, and be affected by one. Before opening The Black Body, I already had preconceived notions of how I thought it would read, considering the fact that I have a Black body, myself. I should have known better. It wasn't necessarily the topics covered that surprised me, but the way in which they were interpreted and the eloquence with which some of the authors conveyed the subject." —Olupero R. Aiyenimelo, Feminist Review
"Meri Danquah has taken the race debate to another level, deeper and more provocative than we've gone before." —Danzy Senna, author of Where Did You Sleep Last Night? and Caucasia
"This singularly brave book recounts with poignancy, wit, and fierce passion the ways that Americans, black and white, have come to understand the black body. These are exquisite stories of what it is to see, and love, and to be seen, and be loved. They make an utterly compelling collection." —Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
"Meri Nana-Ama Danquah's The Black Body is a bold, cutting-edge and ultimately uplifting anthology destined to become a classic in African-American literature. There is a hunger for redemption in these ethereal essays which is triumphant." —Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior and Rosa Parks