Barack Obama has inspired a coterie of black writers who have largely foregone reportage and robust interrogation for a kind of anger management, in an apparent attempt to reassure African-Americans that, despite losing more of their wealth than at any time in history, everything is swell.
“The point for me,” said one 41-year-old African-American who works in Silicon Valley, “is that black people in America can trust no one but each other. This world means us harm and nobody has our back; you’d have to be a fool to believe otherwise.”
Forty years ago last fall, the late Richard Pryor took the stage at the Hollywood Bowl for a gay rights fundraiser and delivered what was perhaps the most incendiary monologue of a career that was both famously -- and literally -- combustible. What the audience of 17,000 mostly gay, white men anticipated was to be regaled by the