cover image The Black List

The Black List

Elvis Mitchell, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, , read by Mitchell and the contributors. . Simon & Schuster Audio, $19.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7435-7808-0

Mitchell's project with photographer Greenfield was to “track the black experience in America and by doing so, to exhibit the wealth and variety in it.” Their interviews with 25 prominent African-Americans became a book and an 87-minute HBO documentary. (The audiobook trims back on contributors; although they are listed on the packaging, there are no chats with Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons, Tuskegee airman William Rice or record producer Steve Stoute.) Mitchell introduces the book before each subject is given a few minutes to speak “at length about their wishes, their battles, their anxieties and fulfilling their goals.” There are no dull spots among the tightly edited monologues, just eloquent, engaging and inspiring speakers, including Toni Morrison, Chris Rock, Colin Powell, Faye Wattleton, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Zane, Al Sharpton and Louis Gossett Jr. The inspiring and illuminating voices are supported by a lulling musical score by Neal Evans. An Atria hardcover (reviewed online). (Sept.)