Captain Blackman

Captain Blackman

Book - 2000
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Vividly brings to life the history of African Americans in the military.
Publisher: Minneapolis : Coffee House Press, c2000
ISBN: 9781566890960
1566890969
Branch Call Number: FICTION WILLIAMS
Characteristics: ix, 264 p. ; 22 cm

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lukasevansherman
Feb 06, 2018

"Captain Blackman" is an unjustly neglected novel by an unjustly overlooked author. I had never heard of John A. Williams until encountering his name in a recent biography of Chester Himes. Published in 1972, "Captain Blackman" is the story of American wars from the black perspective. The title character is wounded in Vietnam and as he fades in and out, he imagines himself in every major conflict since the Revolution. Williams explores both the black experience and how war is seen by those who have nothing really to gain from it. It's an anti-heroic war novel whose structure reminded me a little of Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" and Butler's "Kindred."
The NYT obit of Williams:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/arts/john-a-williams-an-underrated-novelist-who-wrote-about-black-identity-dies-at-89.html

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