By William L. Van Deburg
In Black Camelot, William Van Deburg examines the dynamic upward thrust of those new black champions, the social and old contexts within which they flourished, and their robust effect at the African-American community.
"Van Deburg manages the enviable feat of writing with aptitude inside a standardized educational framework, masking politics, social matters and leisure with equivalent aplomb."—Jonathan Pearl, Jazz Times
"[A] attention-grabbing, thorough account of the way African-American icons of the Sixties and ’70s have replaced the process American background. . . . An in-depth, even-tempered research. . . . Van Deburg’s witty, energetic and constantly grounded type entertains whereas it instructs."—Publishers Weekly
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Additional resources for Black Camelot: African-American Culture Heroes in Their Times, 1960-1980
Had he been a ready recipient of Social Darwinist precepts while in training at Harvard? Was he at all influenced by the rise of German nationalism? Did Du Bois inherit the Ethiopianist/black nationalist tradition of EdwardWilmot Blyden, Alexander Crummell, and Martin Delany? The precise intellectual mix could be argued endlessly8 But one thing is certain: he believed fervently that black people were destined to make a significant and lasting contribution to world history. ”A “tropical”1ove of life not only enabled members of the race to benefit from the therapeutic properties inherent in laughter, song, and dance but also led them to place a premium on the development of personal qualities such as honesty, humility, faith, and compassion.
Rarely were informed opinions on issues of concern to real people forthcoming. Indeed, this was the minstrel’s great burden. They were fit only to be jesters and buffoons. To quote that untutored sage Andrew H. “Andy”Brown, these comical blacks possessed no “zecketive-bays” and could not hope for success in the business world. Prone to confking footballs with watermelons, they were unlikely to be enshrined in any sports hall of fame. 26A bit of dalogue from Amos ’ ~ ’ A dsums y up the minstrel’s prospects for rapid socioeconomic advancement: SAPPHIRE: George, I know why you’re a no-good bum.
Some temporarily turned chalky white with fear. 28 At other times, it was the challenge of life, not the spirits of the departed, that caused their knees to quake. Cowardly blacks made loyal slaves in part because they were too weak-willed to test the waters of the mysterious world beyond the plantations. ” Ignorant, half-clothed, and hungry, they were said to have “skulked and stumbled along half the way to Lake Erie”before (quite accidentally) finding sanctuary among northern friends. If left to their own devices, few would have made good their escape.
Black Camelot: African-American Culture Heroes in Their Times, 1960-1980 by William L. Van Deburg