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A pioneering scholar of African American history.

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His obsessions: Christian theology, art, authenticity.

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The greatest, funniest cartoons of New York’s gutter age.

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Brian Berger on Grandmaster & Melle Mel’s “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” (1983)

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His wild sounds set off waves of enthusiasm.

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The visionary electronic composer who wrote the DR. WHO theme.

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“SCHOOL DAZE sets race back 200 years.”

Federal Bureau of Prisons mugshot, c. 1944

“Physically, sexually he was the most compelling man I have ever seen.”

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“I left Memphis to spread the news / Memphis women don’t wear no shoes”

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“The greatest blues singer that I ever knew.”

Godowsky and admirer.

“The fingering and pedaling are often of a revolutionary character.”

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Forget everything you thought you knew about “Half-Pint” Jaxon.

He preserved and disseminated oral culture.

Twisting, wry and dolorous laments.

An anthropologist who studied “the muck.”

The painter’s substantial literary achievement is less well-known.

“Too much at stake: art, integrity, black power.”

His journalism about white tenant farmers became “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.”

If RFK hadn’t intervened, MLK would have been “dead as Kelsey’s nuts.”

“I’ve had a struggle all my life. I’m a colored man.”

“I had to burn a guy a little and they gave me a little time”

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings.”

Awesome and devastating, yet naive and vulnerable.

“Showed a good bary and commercial routine that hypoed his Oriental appearance.”