Hanif Abdurraqib’s exploration of Black performance in America is a cultural keystone that is chillingly relevant. Whether discussing the fact that a knowing look or advice on a route from a cashier is a form of a living Green Book that still exists because there are places Black people are not safe, to the origin of the card game spades or the difference between showing out or showing off, at the heart A Little Devil in America circles back to the fact that Black Americans have been forced to survive in places they were not welcome. The section on Black funerals pierced my heart. This book needs to be read, taught, underlined and discussed.
A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib (List Price: $27, Random House, 9781984801197, 3/30/2021)
Reviewed by Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia