Bert Williams and the (Funny) Sadness of Clowns

WC Fields described his fellow Ziegfield Follies mate Bert Williams–‘one of the pre-eminent entertainers of the Vaudeville era and one of the most popular comedians for all audiences of his time…the best-selling black recording artist before 1920′–as ‘the funniest man I ever saw and the saddest man I ever knew.’ Williams certainly made no secretContinue reading “Bert Williams and the (Funny) Sadness of Clowns”

CLR James on the ‘Surprisingly Moderate’ Reprisals of the Haitian Revolution

Here are two very powerful passages from CLR James‘ classic The Black Jacobins: Touissant L’Overture and the San Domingo Revolution (Vintage Books, second edition revised, New York, 1962, pp. 88-89): The slaves destroyed tirelessly. Like the peasants in the Jacquerie or the Luddite wreckers, they were seeking their salvation in the most obvious way, the destruction of what they knewContinue reading “CLR James on the ‘Surprisingly Moderate’ Reprisals of the Haitian Revolution”