Google+

Rhythm for Sale

Rhythm for Sale

by Dr. Grant Harper Reid

Amazon Digital Services

Paperback, $14.95                                                      

300 pages

ISBN: 978-0615678283

 

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“I went into the Countee Cullen library… and saw a book titled: The Harlem Renaissance: A Historical Dictionary for the Era… I peeked inside to see if [it] had any information about my grandfather, Leonard Harper…

51vC-3ryUnLI asked the librarian… and was told to walk around the corner to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture… I rushed to the Schomburg Center and was able to find so much material about my grandfather that it took me decades to complete my research.

The discovery of my family heritage by way of my grandfather was like opening up a treasure chest of precious metals.”

Excerpted from the Introduction (page ix)

 

Have you ever heard of the late Leonard Harper? Neither had I, before reading this reverential biography chronicling his fascinating life. A seminal contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, the versatile talent once dubbed the “Father of Cabaret” belongs right up there in the pantheon of the era’s icons along with the likes of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.

 

Rhythm for Sale was written by his grandson, Dr. Grant Harper Reid, who dedicated decades of his life to this labor of love. We learn from its pages that Leonard was born in 1889 in Birmingham, Alabama where, by the age of 4, he was already performing for pennies on the street dressed as a pickaninny.

And by the time he passed away prematurely of a heart attack during rehearsals for a show set to debut in Times Square early in 1943, he had amassed an impressive resume that any entertainer might envy. However, this encyclopedic is much more than just a litany of Harper’s considerable achievements, for it also recreates in vivid fashion, the periods he participated in.

Perhaps more importantly, in a straight no chaser style, it delves deeply into the psyches of both its subject and many of his African-American colleagues. For, while other history books merely stick to the surface by focusing just on the singing and dancing, here we have a sobering exploration which examines their feelings about racism.

Kudos to Dr. Reid for this long overdue tribute belatedly recognizing his truly remarkable grandfather.

 

To order a copy of Rhythm for Sale, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0615678289/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Entertainment

Blake Lively Shines as Surfer Stranded in Shark-Infested Waters

  The Shallows Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams Blake Lively Shines as Surfer Stranded in Shark-Infested Waters Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) was so shaken by her mother's (Janelle Bailey) untimely death that she's dropped out of med school. In order to feel closer to her dearly departed mom, she's decided to vacation at the same exotic Mexican retreat where she was reportedly conceived back in 1991. An avid surfer, she also plans to search for the stretch for her mom's … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at Seton Hall … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount of money people would send to own or create the “best of the best.” Even though some things were referred to as the “gaudiest of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at Seton Hall … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

230 LXF from Tidewater Packs A Punch in a Small Package

  230 LXF from Tidewater Packs A Punch in a Small Package By Ted Lund Are you looking for a family-friendly center console that’s got the luxury of a larger boat in a smaller package? Then look no further than the 230 LXF from Tidewater. The 23-foot, center console has the same features as the rest its large LXF brothers, including comfortable full upholstery, stainless steel cup holders. And a newly-designed console with glove box and footrest includes catch-all … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Season Begins

  The Season Begins by Amy Lignor   Yes, it’s finally time to get down to some real business when it comes to the world of sports. (No offense to Serena at the U.S. Open, but her constant winning is not exactly new.) All this rain across the country has assured that lawns will be overgrown come Monday morning, unless citizens decide to use Saturday to mow. Why is that? Because football is back and Sundays are no longer “nothing to do” lazy days. The big screen … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

2016 Brings About Layoffs to a Variety of Industries

  2016 Brings About Layoffs to a Variety of Industries by Amy Lignor   From tobacco to alcohol, with brand names that have incurred huge amounts of cash during their long-term years in business, layoffs have still been announced at a rapid pace in 2016. Even from those companies that have increased their profits.   Altria is one with a very large brand name. Its cornerstone brand, Marlboro, has brought about retail sales that have grown higher for the fourth … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Spotting the Wild Animal in the U.S. of A.

  Spotting the Wild Animal in the U.S. of A. by Amy Lignor   There are many camping spots, zoos, parks, and outdoor paradises across the globe; locales where wild animals roam and humans can get close to these amazing creatures. One of the most beautiful and talked about lies near Canterbury, Kent in the United Kingdom. Opened as a private zoo in 1957, this odd collection is known by many for being one of the most unorthodox. Breeding rare and endangered species, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+