Darius James

Sunday, April 21, 2019, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Photo of Darius James walking in New York City
Writer, lecturer and spoken-word performance artist Darius James reads from Negrophobia: An Urban Parable, recently reissued by the New York Review of Books Classics. This event is part of The Poetry Center's In Common Writers Series. Supported by the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. Free.
City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
The Poetry Center
City Lights Books
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Darius James

Darius James is a writer, lecturer and spoken-word performance artist. His five books include Negrophobia: An Urban Parable (New York Review of Books Classics, 2019 reissue), That’s Blaxploitation! Roots of the Baadasssss ’Tude (Rated X by an All-Whyte Jury) and Fever Water (limited edition, with illustrations by Tân Khánh Cao).

After two decades as a freelance writer in New York City, in 1998 James left the U.S. for Berlin, where he worked as a writer, radio host and theatre director and appeared on television and in film.

The documentary The United States of Hoodoo (2012) features James as co-writer and on-screen narrator, following the traces of New World African religion across the U.S. James has written for the Village Voice, Vibe and Spin; penned liner notes for Richard Pryor’s LPs and covered Sun Ra’s anthemic Nuclear War in German. He interviewed artist Kara Walker (I Hate Being Lion Fodder) as well as record label founder-producer Ahmet Ertegun, for What I Say: The History of Atlantic Records.

James’ scabrous, unapologetically raunchy, truly hilarious and deeply scary Negrophobia is a wild-eyed reckoning with the mutating insanity of American racism. “Comic, manic and amazing, [Negrophobia] tells more about American race relations than all of the walking dead suburban experts, academics and think-tank whores who tell their fellow suburbanites about how it feels to be black.” — Ishmael Reed

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