Deals with the Devil: And Other Reasons to Riot

Overview

Dead on, to the point, fearless. A third-generation black nationalist feminist, Pearl Cleage recognizes the pure power of telling the truth — about African-American life and about the fate of the race in racist America. This book will incite any and all thinking people to ponder, argue, rage, reflect, and maybe even riot . . . .
"Uncompromising . . . Blistering." — San Francisco Chronicle

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Overview

Dead on, to the point, fearless. A third-generation black nationalist feminist, Pearl Cleage recognizes the pure power of telling the truth — about African-American life and about the fate of the race in racist America. This book will incite any and all thinking people to ponder, argue, rage, reflect, and maybe even riot . . . .
"Uncompromising . . . Blistering." — San Francisco Chronicle

Cleage's powerful and provocative African-American feminist perspective will touch an even wider audience in this paperback edition--featuring three new essays. Her pieces discussing politics, culture, mass media, emotional and physical survival are equal parts eloquence and anger, challenging readers to see that the personal and the political are one.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cleage, a columnist for the Atlanta Tribune , editor of Catalyst magazine and director of a theater company, offers approximately 40 pointed, colloquial and lively essays rising from an anger that is both feminist and black nationalist. An ``outsider by choice as well as historical imperative,'' Cleage gets nervous when Bill Clinton makes her feel included and argues that America's integrationist dream is a ``perverse fantasy'' for blacks. Though she attacks Clarence Thomas as ``an enemy of our race,'' she refuses to honor Anita Hill, arguing that Hill's service to the Reagan administration marked her as a ``collaborator.'' Cleage is most forceful when she writes about race and sex. She can no longer celebrate Miles Davis when she learns he beats women, but her arguments that blacks are always right in interracial discussions of race and that ``conscious'' women are always right in discussions about sexism are certainly debatable. Other topics include Malcolm X, the film Driving Miss Daisy and Cleage's reflections on love, marriage and friends. A worthy voice. (Aug.)
Library Journal
This no-holds-barred, no-words-minced collection gathers essays and performance pieces written and delivered since 1987 by Cleage, an Atlanta writer ( The Brass Bed and Other Stories , LJ 5/15/91), performance artist, and playwright. Since she is a ``third-generation Black Nationalist'' writing ``to help herself understand the full effects of being black and female in a culture that is both racist and sexist,'' there is no garden club, country club, or investment club talk. There is, however, ``Basic Training'' talk: women--and men--are told the sexist and racist facts of life. A significant part of Cleage's focus is upon the pervasiveness in American society of violence against women. In no uncertain terms. she expounds upon the differences between a hero and a ``shero.'' Cleage's comments on Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill, Spike Lee, Malcolm X, pornography, and the U.S. Supreme Court make for stimulating reading. Her voice needs and deserves to be heard: all libraries should ensure that that happens.-- Katherine Dahl, Western Illinois Univ., Macomb
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345388711
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st Ballantine Books trade pbk. ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Pearl Cleage
Pearl Cleage

Pearl Cleage is the author of Mad at Miles: A Black Woman's Guide to Truth and Deals with the Devil and Other Reasons to Riot. An accomplished Playwright, she teaches playwriting at Spelman College, is a cofounder of the literary magazine Catalyst and writes a column for the Atlanta Tribune. Ms. Cleage lives in Atlanta with her husband. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day...is her first novel.

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Table of Contents

Deals with the Devil: By Way of Introduction
Pt. 1 Mad at Miles
Why I Write 3
Last Day of the Year 8
The Other Facts of Life 13
Basic Training 21
Mad at Miles 36
Good Brother Blues 44
Pt. 2 Fatal Floozies
Out Here on Our Own 53
On Redbones 57
Exceptional Men 61
Personal Commitment 65
Clarity on Clarence 70
Anti-Shero 75
Fatal Floozies 81
Beverly's Boots 88
Pt. 3 Forgetting to Fuss
Blaming the Victim 95
Recycling Blues 99
Fighting Monsters 104
Forgetting to Fuss 107
Rechanneling the Energy 114
School Daze 118
We Who Believe in Freedom 123
Pt. 4 Reasons to Riot
American Psychos 131
Strange Bedfellows 135
Assessing Arsenio 139
Reason to Riot 143
Whose Malcolm Is It? 146
Down Wit Dee 151
Robin & Mike 156
Driving Miss Daisy Crazy 161
Daughters of the Dust 165
Pt. 5 Stranger in Paradise
Uncle Ernest 173
A Rose Is a Rose Is a. . . 177
Stranger in Paradise 180
In My Solitude 184
Missing You 192
Twins 195
Sitting with Sarah 198
Epilogue: Love Shoulda Brought You 203
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