Crazy as hell The best little guide to black history

Hoke Smith Glover, 1970-

Book - 2024

"By turns hilarious, candid, and heartbreaking, this powerful book takes the straitjacket off Black history. A refreshing, witty take on African American history, Crazy as Hell explores the site of America's greatest contradictions. The notables of this book are the Runaways and the Rebels, the Badass and Funky, the Activists and the Inmates--from Harriet Tubman, Nina Simone, and Muhammad Ali to B'rer Rabbit, Single Mamas, and Wakandans--but are they crazy as hell, or do they simply defy the expectations designated for being Black in America? With humor and insight, scholars and writers V Efua Prince and Bro. Yao (Hoke S. Glover III) offer brief breakdowns of one hundred influential, archetypal, and infamous figures, building... a new framework that emphasizes their humanity. Including an introduction by MacArthur Fellow Reginald Dwayne Betts and peppered with little-known historical facts and PSAs that get real about the Black experience, Crazy as Hell captures the tenacious, irreverent spirit that accompanies a long struggle for freedom. You'll never look at Black history the same way again." --

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 973.0496/Glover (NEW SHELF) Checked In
New York : W.W. Norton [2024]
Main Author
Hoke Smith Glover, 1970- (author)
Other Authors
V. Efua Prince (author), Reginald Dwayne Betts, 1980- (writer of introduction)
Physical Description
168 pages ; 21 cm
  • Introduction
  • Editor's Notes
  • How to Read This Book
  • Foreword
  • The Runaway
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Margaret Garner
  • Henry "Box" Brown
  • Gladys Bentley
  • Deadbeat Dads
  • More on the Runaway
  • The Rebel
  • Nat Turner
  • Denmark Vesey
  • Father Moses Dickson
  • Gabriel Prosser
  • Robert Williams
  • More on the Rebel
  • The Mythic Negro
  • Black Folks Who Jumped Off the Boat
  • Br'er Rabbit
  • High John the Conqueror
  • Anansi the Spider (Aunt Nancy)
  • John Henry
  • Hustlers and Drug Dealers
  • Revolutionaries
  • Mammy
  • Jack Beat the Devil
  • More on the Mythic Negro
  • The Inmate
  • Etheridge Knight
  • Detroit Red AKA Satan AKA Malcolm X AKA El Hajj Malik El Shabazz
  • Mumia Abu-Jamal
  • George Jackson
  • Eldridge Cleaver
  • Reginald Dwayne Betts
  • More on the Inmate
  • The Committed
  • Buddy Bolden
  • Crownsville Hospital for the Negro Insane
  • Louise Little
  • Charlie (Bird) Parker
  • Nina Simone
  • Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic
  • More on the Committed
  • The Badass
  • Madam C. J. Walker
  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett
  • Lou Ella Townsend
  • Jim Evers
  • Shirley Chisholm
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Jack Johnson
  • Single Mamas
  • More on the Badass
  • The Outlaw
  • Deacons for Defense and Justice
  • Assata Shakur
  • Jonathan Jackson
  • More on the Outlaw
  • The Lawless
  • Rayful Edmonds III
  • Bob Marley
  • Robert Johnson
  • Nellie Jackson
  • More on the Lawless
  • The Great Pretender
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Bill Cosby
  • O. J. Simpson
  • Clarence Thomas
  • More on the Great Pretender
  • The Wanderer
  • Medgar Evers
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Huey P. Newton
  • Amiri Baraka
  • Bass Reeves
  • Bessie Coleman
  • Peetie Wheatstraw
  • More on the Wanderer
  • The Funky
  • Esther Jones
  • Parliament Funkadelic
  • Sun Ra
  • Kanye West
  • Michael Jackson
  • Flavor Flav
  • Erykah Badu
  • The Wu-Tang Clan with special note of distinction for ODB
  • More on the Funky
  • The Serial Killer
  • Samuel Little
  • Wayne Williams
  • John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo
  • Christopher Dorner
  • More on the Serial Killer
  • The Spiritualist
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Marie Laveau
  • Daddy Grace
  • Elijah Muhammad
  • Gullah Jack
  • John Africa
  • Martin L. King, Jr.
  • John Coltrane
  • More on the Spiritualist
  • The Angry
  • Stagger Lee
  • Miles Davis
  • Mike Tyson
  • More on the Angry
  • The Black Intellectual and the Activist
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • Nella Larsen
  • Angela Davis
  • More on the Black Intellectual and the Activist
  • The Imaginary and the Visionary
  • Silent Black People
  • Christianity
  • Wakandans
  • Hoteps
  • Yo Mama
  • More on the Imaginary and the Visionary
  • The White People
  • The Man
  • Becky
  • Karen
  • More on the White People
  • The Unwitting Representatives of the Anonymous Masses
  • Emmett Till
  • Four Little Girls
  • Rodney King
  • Trayvon Martin
  • Sandra Bland
  • Tamir Rice
  • George Floyd
  • More on the Unwitting Representatives of the Anonymous Masses
  • Closing Thoughts
  • Glossary
  • Beyond the Book
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Two cultural studies scholars offer a darkly humorous guide to Black history. In this collaboration, Glover and Prince seek to challenge views that Black Americans are solely defined by the brutality of their history. Toward that end, the authors organize the text around the great cultural "luminaries" who have not only "transcend[ed] the boundaries" imposed on Black Americans, but also demonstrated their (very human) imperfections by showing themselves to be "crazy as hell." The authors gather those figures under categories they see as representative of important Black cultural archetypes. Glover and Prince begin with "The Runaway," offering brief stories of well-known enslaved people who were able to escape--e.g., Harriet Tubman, who returned to the South "at least nineteen times" to lead other enslaved people to freedom, and Frederick Douglass, who taught himself to read and write and beat up a former master who mistreated him. Several categories, including "The Badass," "The Outlaw," and "The Lawless," emphasize the way the heroes discussed in those sections (Muhammad Ali, Assata Shakur, Shirley Chisholm, Jack Johnson) were not only "bold enough to do something other folks [considered] crazy," but also courageous enough to show no fear in evading unfair laws. Other sections, including "The Funky" and "The Black Intellectual and The Activist," emphasize the fabulously boundary-breaking creativity and thinking demonstrated by brilliant eccentrics, from funk music godfather George Clinton and writer Zora Neale Hurston to Flavor Flav, Erykah Badu, and the Wu-Tang Clan. The final section introduces "The Unwitting Representatives of the Anonymous Masses," a category that includes Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and George Floyd. As it entertains and enlightens, this book also makes readers keenly aware that the "craziness" demonstrated by Black heroes is a direct response to the madness of a racist American society. An entertainingly provocative and informative reading experience. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.