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Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line
Dispatches from a Black Journalista
Erin Aubry Kaplan; Michael Eric Dyson, fwd.

Northeastern Library of Black Literature

Northeastern University Press
2011 • 304 pp. 6 x 9 1/4"
Sociology / African-American Studies

$19.95 Paperback, 978-1-55553-754-8
$12.99 Ebook, 978-1-55553-766-1

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Erin Aubry Kaplan writes with a quiet, erudite fury. Her passionate sentences are a lament and a celebration of the black experience. She’s a black intellectual, in a time when race isn’t supposed to mean anything anymore.”Los Angeles Times

This lively and thoughtful book explores what it means to be black in an allegedly postracial America

Los Angeles has had a ringside seat during the long last century of racial struggle in America. The bouts have been over money and jobs and police brutality, over politics and poetry and rap and basketball. Minimizing blackness itself has been touted as the logical and ideal solution to the struggle, but in Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line Erin Aubry Kaplan begs to differ. With eloquence, wit, and high prose style she crafts a series of compelling arguments against black eclipse.

Here are thirty-three insightful and wide-ranging pieces of literary, cultural, political, and personal reporting on the contemporary black American experience. Drawn from the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly,, and elsewhere, this collection also features major new articles on President Barack Obama, black and Hispanic conflicts, and clinical depression. In each, Kaplan argues with meticulous observation, razor-sharp intelligence, and sparkling prose against the trend of black erasure, and for the expansion of horizons of the black American story.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS


“Erin Aubry Kaplan ostensibly writes about race. But what she really writes about is human beings in all their puzzling, contradictory, glorious complexity. Whether she’s writing about confronting depression or about the attractions of Tiger Woods, her essays are eloquent, honest and compelling. And they are extremely fun to read.”Sue Horton, Op-Ed Editor, Los Angeles Times

“Finely nuanced and finely chosen, Kaplan’s essays reflect the ever-changing, never-ending, always-amazing story of race in America. Insight, humor, pathos, and her eye for detail produce revelations on every page.”Tom Hayden

ERIN AUBRY KAPLAN has covered black issues as a journalist for twenty years, including nine years as a staff writer for LA Weekly, and two years as a weekly op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:41:25 -0500