Lyrical Gangstas

Kevin Powell searches for a movement of his own.
photo: Courtesy of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Kevin Powell searches for a movement of his own.


Step Into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature
Edited by Kevin Powell
Wiley, 496 pp., $29.95
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In championing the Word Movement, Powell places himself in danger of being sidelined by whatever movement actually does emerge from the rumblings of writers amassed in Step Into a World. John Clellon Holmes suffered a similar fate; the novel Go would never receive the recognition of On the Road, though Go could be considered the start of the Beat movement. The problem with Powell's postulation is, while his will to tag this movement is compelling, the hindsight of historical perspective may be the only proper barometer for determining whether he's onto something or selling himself a dream.

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