Reviews for They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, by Hanif Abdurraqib

heathero621's review

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challenging emotional funny informative lighthearted reflective sad medium-paced

4.5

This book is a collection of essays that Hanif put together that looks at music and race in America.

I picked up this book from the recommendation from Traci at The Stacks and it didn't disappoint.  Hanif is a great writer and was able to convey the emotions of what it was like to be watching music and how life is for Black people in America.  There were some essays that stood out more than others, but I thought that they were all good.  There were so many times that I had to pause reading so that I could do a Google search about the people that were in his books and watch some YouTube videos of the shows.  If you are a music fan, this would be a must read.

justinbhoward's review

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5.0

Hanif is so smart, and a great writer! Also his taste in music is a talent.

thedgafclub's review

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challenging emotional reflective medium-paced

5.0

clarahowell92's review

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emotional funny informative reflective medium-paced

5.0

starfish_syd's review

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5.0

I'm so glad I finally read this one. Hanif finds a way to connect music and subjects that I previously thought impossible. His voice is so strong and he means what he says. You begin each essay on different footing and are placed back on your feet very quickly, then spun around again when he takes you down a different road. It is evident that he has been developing his writing voice for quite some time, and his nonfiction doesn't suffer or get muddled down by him writing predominately poetry (as some other folks do). This book was full of surprises and emotions. Both from the author and myself. It is truly incredible.

lindsayb's review

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5.0

Abdurraqib is so dang READABLE that I really had to make myself slow down because every essay in this collection is so powerful. This is a book I wish I could give to everybody because I want to discuss it and every other possible conversation that might come out of it.

amaniariel's review

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5.0

breathtaking. a reminder of why I love words

martinatan's review

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challenging dark emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective sad tense medium-paced

5.0

lackadaisy's review

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5.0

Hanif Abdurraqib has music running through his veins. His passion and knowledge comes through so clearly in this book of essays. The essays range in topics, from loss to race to American society, many of them (though not all) through the lens of music.

My favorite thing about this book though, is that you can see his background in poetry in his words. It's poetic prose, and every time I finished an essay, I would react the same way I always do after I finish a good poem: with a heavy sigh.

There is so much more I want to say about how brilliant this book is but I lack the vocabulary. Highly recommend it.

jhedeman's review

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5.0

Well, fuck.

2016/2017 killed spirits and people, but also gave us this book. It is very much of its time, but I suspect will also hold up well (sometime distressingly, no doubt) in the years to come.

I wish I were still teaching, so I could assign essays. I wish I could paper the town.