| Jan 17, 2009
Valata Jenkins-Monroe contributed to Barack Obama's campaign and made a few phone calls on his behalf, but she doesn't consider herself a fanatic, not even with Obama posters, T-shirts, buttons, mugs, coasters and vases in her home -- along with a photo...
| Jan 20, 2009
In the year since Barack Obama's remarkable surge to the head of the pack of Democratic presidential candidates, we've been hearing a lot about the nation's new "post-racial" politics. The basic concept is this: Obama's acceptance by the white...
| Jan 25, 2009
The Sky Below
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 288 pp., $24
Gabriel, the chimerical narrator of "The Sky Below," Stacey D'Erasmo's episodic novel of mayhem and myth, was not the sort of boy his "sad brown bear of a father" could bond...
| Feb 6, 2009
The image of a glittering downtown Los Angeles skyline turned upside down, which opens Stacy Peralta's sobering "Crips and Bloods: Made in America," is both striking and unnerving. With that image, Peralta telegraphs a theme that will resonate in chilling...
| Feb 19, 2009
| 12:49 PM
In "The African Book of Names," a new work compiled by Askhari Hodari, there are more than 5,000 names deriving from 37 nations and more than 70 ethno-linguistic groups. One thing that sets it apart from other name books is that it makes clear that it's...
| Sep 26, 2008
In the most complimentary sense, Yves Lola St. Vil's "The Bones of Lesser Men" at the Met Theatre is an ensemble piece that follows in the stylistic footsteps of the late August Wilson.
Set in a diner that serves as the heart and soul for an impoverished...
| Nov 5, 2008
More than half a century ago, Langston Hughes captured the debilitating divide in the destinies of white and black children in his poem "Children's Rhymes": "By what sends / the white kids / I ain't sent: / I know I can't / be PresidentBy what sends / the...
| Nov 11, 2008
Ever since Proposition 8 passed Nov. 4, enshrining heterosexual-only marriage in the California Constitution, demonstrators from Sacramento to San Diego have staged daily marches and protests to express their anger and disappointment that homosexuals will...
| Apr 24, 2008
BY train, the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn is five stops from the suits and ties of Lower Manhattan and 14 stops from the tourists of Times Square. Some of the streets are lined with trees and brownstones, others with abandoned buildings and...
| May 19, 2008
There was a remarkable atmosphere of synchronicity during the performance of Christian McBride's "The Movement Revisited" at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday night. And maybe a trace of irony as well.
The four-section suite for big jazz band, small...
| Jun 23, 2008
LA JOLLA -- As your eyes plot the final few steps down the central staircase in UC San Diego's new student center, they land on a red terrazzo text panel that reads: "Perfect order is the forerunner of perfect horror." Not exactly a soft landing but...