Author: Stanley Crouch

  • Atlanta Reconstructed

    1981 Village Voice article by Stanley Crouch about Atlanta

    In mass murder as well as in war, the great darkness of death can often inspire a sentimentality that distorts our perception of the intricate human struggles that preceded and will prevail beyond the body count. Such is the case of Atlanta, a city in which the grand ideals of democracy and the mid­night oil […]

  • Into Africa

    Stanley Crouch reports from Africa in a 1985 Village Voice article

    Where the Heat Comes From Africa is one of the centerpieces of fantasy in our time. Its ambiguity and variety have always challenged the imagination, partly through dark and brutal acts, partly through a vitality that interweaves the subtle and the sizzling. Though Africa’s cooperation fueled the Atlantic slave trade, though its conquest stands as […]

  • Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror

    1987 Village Voice article by Stanley Crouch about Michael Jackson

    Because Afro-Americans have presented challenges to one order or another almost as long as they have been here, fear and contempt have frequently influenced the way black behavior is assessed. The controversy over Michael Jackson is the most recent example, resulting in a good number of jokes, articles in this periodical and others, and even […]

  • Bernie Goetz: The Black Community at Gunpoint

    1985 Village Voice article by Stanley Crouch on Bernie Goetz

    “I, The Jury” The Bernhard Goetz affair is but part of a remarkable confluence of events, all of which illustrate the rage, indifference, corruption, arro­gance, and hysteria surrounding crime in this city and this nation. This clairvoyant shootist has been called the father of a new rainbow coalition, since his support initially dissolved racial lines. […]

  • Laughin’ Louis Armstrong

    1978 Village Voice article by Stanley Crouch about Louis Armstrong

    It was quite a long time before I discovered that Louis Armstrong was a genius. In fact, it was quite a while before I knew what to make of him at all. Born in 1945, I grew up with television. That meant growing up on Louis Armstrong, who was a favored guest on talk and […]

  • James Baldwin: The Rage of Race

    By 1963, when he pub­lished The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s writing had become al­most exclusively polemi­cal, foreshadowing the narrowing of black com­mentary into strident prosecution or spiteful apology. Considered the intellectual component of the Civil Rights movement, Baldwin was a seminal influence on the subsequent era of regression in which Stokely Carmi­chael, Rap Brown, […]

  • Black Music: Bringing Atlantis Up to the Top

    Black Music: A Special Section …the rhythm is so hip that it can comple­ment all that intellectual shit that’s been going on, which is cool to a point.  —George Clinton to Chip Stern One of the great problems of the develop­ment of jazz over the last 20 years is that the aesthetic battles engendered by […]

  • Do the Race Thing: Spike Lee’s Afro-Fascist Chic

    The problems Spike Lee and his new film, Do the Right Thing, represent cannot be discussed outside the con­text of contemporary Afro-American media success and the reemergence of black power thinking. But a good place to begin is Brooklyn on June 5, the evening that Lee and Robert Townsend of Hollywood Shuffle were given tribute […]

  • Nationalism of Fools

    1985 Village Voice article by Stanley Crouch on Louis Farrakhan and the nation of Islam

    Nationalism of Fools There again were the black suits and red ties, the bodyguards in blue uniforms, the women in white, the aloof cast of the eyes and the earthly manner: the Nation of Islam. Twenty-five years ago it was Malcolm X’s show, though he could never have filled Madison Square Garden. On October 7, […]