Magical Negro PDF Book by Morgan  Parker PDF ePub

Magical Negro

4.34818 votes • 116 reviews
Published 05 Feb 2019
Magical Negro.pdf
Format Paperback
Publisher Tin House Books
ISBN 1947793187

Magical Negro is an archive of Black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of Black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics—of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience. In Magical Negro, Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes, and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present—timeless Black melancholies and triumphs.

Magical Negro Reviews

- Los Angeles, CA
Sun, 21 Oct 2018

12 lines into the first poem and tears filled my eyes ready to escape and poor down my face. I read myself. I read my life. This is a reflection of me. Of my people. I cry because sometimes the hurt can sit in your stomach for so long until you release it.
“and repetition is a literary device, and paranoia is a weakness of the oppressed: we cannot be mentally sound”.
Morgan Parker points out all that is Black. She brings forth the stereotypes that has shaped an image of us that may not be repaired. But does that matter? She shares experiences with White men but also shares the judgment. The inner judgment one gives to their self as they date outside their race. She brings forth the beauty/what we go through to be beautiful (hot comb), hurt, history, and truth of Black people. The way she speaks of the Black womanhood blew my mind. It was raining truth!
I will be honest, I reread so many parts to fully grasp what she is saying. To fully grasp my feelings. Yes, it is short but it is not a quick read. It is something to sit and reflect on and the mixed feelings and connections are okay.

- Miami, FL
Sat, 26 Jan 2019

The poetry in this book is stunning. It's lyrical but also punchy and also so very cutting. If you are white, like me, you need to read this. You need to know all the ways in which Black folks are dehumanized. You need to learn how nano-atomic it is. How string-molecular. How, not daily, but minuteLY. You need to know that every time you say "all of us" you are cutting out millions. You need to learn a new way of thinking. You need to turn yourself around. This will help. I promise it will help. But you have to put yourself through it. Do it now.

- Brooklyn, NY
Sat, 09 Feb 2019

Magical Negro feels like...when I text my Black queer friend(s) that I feel alone and want to die, and she hears my pain. Then we talk about the new hair products we’re using and the white girl at work who pissed us off the other day.

Tue, 28 Aug 2018

"No one can serve two masters like we can, be future and what they threatened to forget."

My first time reading Morgan Parker's work was when I received an ARC for The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic. To say that I LOVED this anthology would be an understatement. See review here: Black Girl Magic So when I came across this title on NetGalley I was super excited.
Magical Negro is radical, elegiac, witty and intimate. Using cultural and historical references, Morgan Parker unabashedly confronts the traumas of our past and our present. Her prose speaks to both the collective experience and to crimes committed against oneself. Magical Negro has transformative power, one that you can return to time and again and be moved.
As with any anthology there were some poems I liked better then others.
My favorites were:
Nancy Meyers and My Dream of Whiteness
Magical Negro #84: The Black Body
A Brief History of the Present
What I Am
after Terrance Hayes
If you are over staying woke
We Are the House That Holds the Table at Which Yes We Will Happily Take a Goddamn Seat
after Solange
Magical Negro #80: Brooklyn

I am looking forward to Morgan Parker's upcoming YA novel Who Put This Song On? that is due out later this year.
Special thanks to NetGalley, Tin House books and Morgan Parker for advanced access to this book.

Jenny (Reading Envy)
- Greenville, SC
Tue, 22 Jan 2019

I read these poems twice, before and after a historical novel about racism in Oregon, and it strikes a chord with me that this collection is published by Tin House. One of the poems even talks about how it's too late for her to try to live in Portland or Brooklyn (the two homes of her publishing house.) And so the poetry settles into the reality of our existence, and the need to confront discomfort if we are really going to talk about race.
Since I had a review copy I can't quote any poems directly, but I want to, so much. Morgan Parker is in conversation with many of these topics, with current events, with other poets and poems, with the white gaze, the male gaze. Several poems are titled Magical Negro #x and imagine the perspective of several key figures in history; some are broader like the one about "the black body" (it repeats "the body is a person" to great effect.)
I can't decide which collection I like more - this, which seems more of a direct response to recent events, or There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, which gave me my first introduction to the strength and unpandering resistance of her words.
Favorites from this collection:
Everything Will Be Taken Away
"...You are a woman now
but you have always had skin...."
Whites Only
Magical Negro #84: The Black Body
Ode to Fried Chicken's Guest Appearance on Scandal
If you are over staying woke (and here in audio)
I Told My Therapist I Tried to Meditate and She Laughed
We Are the House That Holds the Table at Which Yes We Will Happily Take a Goddamn Seat
"...The difference between worth
and worthless without them
is science: how it feels to not be
able to see a person, and the number
of instances when we believed
we should die. ..."
Magical Negro #80: Brooklyn
"...Lead us not into white neighborhoods.
Deliver us from microaggressions...."

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