Albert murray the omni americans

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albert murray the omni americans

The Omni-Americans: Some Alternatives to the Folklore of White Supremacy by Albert Murray

The Omni-Americans is a classic collection of wickedly incisive essays, commentaries, and reviews on politics, literature, and music. Provocative and compelling, Albert Murray debunks the so-called findings and all-too-inclusive extrapolations of social science survey technicians, contending that human nature is no less complex and fascinating for being encased in dark skin. His claim that blacks have produced the most complicated culture, and therefore the most complicated sensibility in the western world is elucidated in a book which, according to Walker Percy, fits no ideology, resists all abstractions, offends orthodox liberals and conservatives, attacks social scientists and Governor Wallace in the same breath, sees all the faults of the country, and holds out hope in the end.
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Greg Thomas on Albert Murray, Cultural Critic and Philosopher of Jazz and the Blues

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ChickenBones: A Journal. Most Negroes have always had enough inside information about the history of this. Negroes out of the history books, even as the same people permitted newly. The Omni-Americans. As a working class stiff, I just have not had the leisure to read all the books that are important to American life and culture.

Albert Murray, an essayist, critic and novelist who influenced the national discussion about race by challenging black separatism, insisting that the black experience was essential to American culture and inextricably tied to it, died on Sunday at his home in Harlem. He was Lewis P. Jones, a family spokesman and executor of Mr. Murray was one of the last surviving links to a period of flowering creativity and spreading ferment among the black intelligentsia in postwar America, when the growing force of the civil rights movement gave rise to new bodies of thought about black identity, black political power and the prospects for equality in a society with a history of racism. As blacks fought in the streets for civil rights, black integrationists and black nationalists dueled in the academy and in books and essays. And Mr.

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Albert Murray Interview by Monk Rowe - 9/24/1997 - Clinton, NY

The Civil Rights Movement itself is proof that politics can be an expression of love as well as struggle. Where do we go from here: chaos or community? Albert Murray, born in Alabama on May 12, , was a special, even quintessential American writer for the twentieth century: Local and global, black and Western, he was a modernist who respected the myths and rituals of early humans as much as he loved the stream-of-consciousness technique of James Joyce and William Faulkner. Murray, like Ellison, championed the humanities, especially literature and music, over the structural determinist regime of sociology, which he felt stratified people into rigid ethnic and racial categories. The current backlash against identity politics presents an opportunity for progressives and post-modernists to reboot their strategy and rhetoric. And intelligent action always needs to have its way paved by a practical estimate of the situation. American identity combines roots from Europe, Africa, and, of course, Native Americans, all mixed together with modifications according to region, economics, social power, cultural influence.

The writings of Albert Murray, who has died aged 97, expressed his impatience with the modern stereotype of the African American as victim. Murray was equally suspicious of the chic status sometimes bestowed on black people and black culture by mainstream white society. In fact, Murray, who did not publish his first book until he was 54, disliked even the frequently shifting terminology. That first book — the first in a profusion — was The Omni-Americans , in which Murray staked his ground well apart from the current favourites of black intellectual life by criticising James Baldwin's transformation from artist to civil rights polemicist the pair remained friends. He dedicated his energy to outlining ways in which "omni-American" culture and identity is dependent on the black presence. To the fore in this analysis was music, the music of slaves and their descendants, through which vast numbers of New World citizens interpret their personal experience.

It is a nation of multicolored people. Any fool can see that the white people are not really white, and that black people are not black. They are all interrelated one way or another. The Hero and the Blues is a series of lectures on the trickster-hero figure in world literature and its relation to musical improvisation. The essay collections The Blue Devils of Nada and From the Briarpatch File enlarge upon the themes of his previous books, focusing on individual American writers, artists, and musicians.

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