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Posted July 25, 2007
It's about time somebody had the guts to tackle a 'taboo' subject like this one! Strausbaugh's careful reseach, keen perceptions and biting sense of humor make this book an enthralling and mind-expanding read. And now that the Genographic Project has declared that as few as 2000 Africans saved Homo sapiens from extinction during the last ice age, so that we might go on to populate the rest of the world, this book is not just about the influence of blacks upon American culture-- it's about each and every one of us.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2007
After reading John Strausbaugh's new book, Black Like You, I am stunned. As a scholar of Ohio history, I protest the cavalier libel of Dan Emmett, and Ben and Lew Snowden. The author has NO PROOF of his contentions. Where is the evidence that Dan Emmett was taught to play the fiddle by an African-American? (pg. 102) Strausbaugh doesn't even attempt to footnote that. Where is the proof that Ben and Lew Snowden 'claimed to have taught [Dan Emmett] the song [Dixie]?' (pg. 104) It is incredible to me that the source cited for this is a REVIEW of Howard and Judith Sacks' book, Way Up North in Dixie--and the review is misrepresented. The second source cited is John Leland, in Hip: the History, who wrote that, in answer to Emmett's claim of authorship, the Snowdens 'disputed this credit.' (Leland, pg. 29) THEY DID NOT. It is telling that Leland--who also writes for the New York Times, also cites a review of the Sacks' book. (pg. 359, n29) Mr. Strausbaugh's error is most egregious. How in the world did he deduce from Norm Cohen's review that 'Ben and Lew Snowden, who'd been Emmett's neighbors back in Ohio and who claimed to have taught him the song.' (104) This material ABOUT the Snowdens did not surface until both were conveniently dead. IT IS HEARSAY, told by others ABOUT the Snowdens, never by the brothers. I shudder to think what other errors are incorporated into the book.
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