Dark Witness

Ralph Wiley, Author One World $23 (334p) ISBN 978-0-345-40055-0
Wiley (Why Black People Tend to Shout) arches his satirical barbs high. This ""personal narrative about life and death at the fin de siecle"" rambles self-indulgently at times but contains much that engages and entertains. In ""One Day, When I Was on Exhibit,"" Wiley invokes Richard Pryor to dissect ""the fallacy"" of the Manhattan Whitney Museum's ""Black Male"" exhibit, muses on the suspicious syntax of embattled former NAACP leader Ben Chavis and wonders why American militia types (""these great Constitutionalists"") cited the attack on Waco rather than the bombing of the black Philadelphia group MOVE in 1987. He visits with Cornell West, examines the genius of Wynton Marsalis and dissects the Hughes brothers' film Dead Presidents. A former sportswriter, Wiley brings personal ties and experience to a disturbing portrayal of O.J. Simpson, whose ""surreal life"" of lust and privilege, he argues, was encouraged by whites more than blacks. Author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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