Craig's Pop Life: 5.27.22
Hey, party people!
Hope you had an awesome week. This letter’s format is hella-different. I’m presenting my first-ever (I think) Summer Reading List and instead of the Club Vault, I’m offering you two weekend playlists. Enjoy!
MY FIRST ANNUAL SUMMER READING LIST
These 10 books—both new & older—speak, in some ways, to issues of race, music, sexuality, and culture. They are listed in alphabetical order with affiliates links.
A deeply soulful exploration of the gospel, blues, and jazz impulses in Black music.
A brilliant blend of biography, critical analysis, and social/cultural history.
The Baldwin book nobody reads, but everyone should: It’s got sex, race relations, gospel, & all kinds of gay.
Summer is a great time to tackle a big book, and this one shows the many ways that Black women have contributed to popular music, not just as performers, but as fans, businesspeople, archivists, etc…Truly illuminating!
A thorough, highly readable examination of the racial myths surrounding Rock & Roll.
I’m not recommending this biography of Zora Neale Hurston because it was written by one of my best friends. I’m putting it here because it presents the challenges Black creatives faced in the early 20th century, and sadly, most are still relevant today.
I know, I know. This is the book you’ve been meaning to read or the one you started and didn't finish. But trust, you will learn everything (except much to do with queerness #shade) that you need to know about the culture African Americans built from unthinkable adversity.
Memorial Day is special for Black, gay folx in D.C. Find out why in the piece I wrote in 1998.
CRAIG’S BLACK PRIDE MEMORIES
CRAIG’S COOKOUT PARTY, 2022
Stephanie Mills - “I Had A Talk With God Last Night”
Thanks for hanging out again. I hope you enjoyed the letter. Until next week, be cool, be kind, be creative, be yourself. Love, Craig