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Black Camelot by William L. Van Deburg

While somewhat unnecessarily using the Kennedy White House as a titular and parallel starting point, Van Deburg examines black popular culture from 1960 thru 1980, taking care to mention important precursors to that era.

Because of the many varying styles and broad scope of performers in question, the chapter on music comes off more sketchy than the ones on cinema and sports. This doesn’t diminish the overall value of the work, for Van Deburg manages the enviable feat of writing with flair within a standardized academic framework, covering politics, social issues and entertainment with equal aplomb.

As a Caucasian teaching African American history on the university level, Van Deburg must have to prove himself on a daily basis, but this book provides evidence he’s up to the task.

Originally Published