Hanif Abdurraqib's new book of essays, A Little Devil in America : It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders Hanif Abdurraqib's latest book is A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. In it, Abdurraqib researches the impact of Black performers on American culture throughout the past several hundred years, touching on everything from minstrel shows to Soul Train, the concept of the "Magical Negro," and playing spades. Sam talks to Abdurraqib about lesser-known performers like Ellen Armstrong, the first Black woman magician, and they revisit the mythology of household names like Whitney Houston. Plus, they share aspects of Black performance they've missed most in this pandemic year.

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Hanif Abdurraqib's Rabbit Holes into Great Black Performance

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Hanif Abdurraqib's Rabbit Holes into Great Black Performance

Hanif Abdurraqib's Rabbit Holes into Great Black Performance

Hanif Abdurraqib's Rabbit Holes into Great Black Performance

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/981791906/982579858" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Author Hanif Abdurraqib Megan Leigh Barnard/Megan Leigh Barnard hide caption

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Megan Leigh Barnard/Megan Leigh Barnard

Author Hanif Abdurraqib

Megan Leigh Barnard/Megan Leigh Barnard

A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib Michael Morris hide caption

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Michael Morris

A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib

Michael Morris

Hanif Abdurraqib's latest book is A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. In it, Abdurraqib researches the impact of Black performers on American culture throughout the past several hundred years, touching on everything from minstrel shows to Soul Train, the concept of the "Magical Negro," and playing spades.

Sam talks to Abdurraqib about lesser known performers like Ellen Armstrong, the first Black woman magician, and they revisit the mythology of household names like Whitney Houston. Plus, they share aspects of Black performance they've missed most in this pandemic year.