Really The Blues
- Seeing that the matter was discussed on this list, I'd like to congratulate
Robert Greenwood on the masterly way he has handled the poisoned chalice of
reviewing Mezzrow's Really The Blues in the latest New Orleans Music!
I haven't of course read Bernard Wolfe's notes in the latest edition but on
the basis of Robert's review I can only regret that rejection of Mezzrow's
"Tomming in reverse" (a wonderfully apposite description, Robert) has led
Wolfe to conclude that the "creative Negro" may actually be dramatizing the
white man's image of the spontaneous Negro. That is a view even more
convenient for bigots, don't you think, allowing any black artist to be
dismissed for some form of Tomming at the whim of the white observer.
To coin a phrase, "I don't think so!"
Yes, definitely I prefer Mezzrow with all his faults to the homogenizers.
Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
- Yes, I agree. Wolfe's is an absurdly reductionist view, and not one that I hold, but one, I think, Mezzrow himself invites us to entertain when reading the meretricious rubbish that is Really the Blues. Mezzrow presents African-Americans as caricatures; he patronises African-American culture; he glamorises poverty and the demoralisation that goes with poverty.