A screenplay for the mind, a performance on the page, a work of poetry, a mad mix of genres and styles, a novel in the tradition of William S. Burroughs and Ishmael Reed that is like no other novel, Negrophobia begins with the blonde bombshell Bubbles Brazil succumbing to a voodoo spell and entering the inner darkness of her own shiny being. Here crackheads parade in the guise of Muppets, Muslims beat conga drums, Negroes have numbers for names, and H. Rap Remus demands the total and instantaneous extermination of the white race through spontaneous combustion. By the end of it all, after going on a weird trip for the ages, Bubbles herself is strangely transformed.
n this social-media era, when we are more intent than ever on isolating things that offend and outrage, Negrophobia revels in its own outrageousness, and thus is more of a tonic now than it was almost three decades ago. It neither blinks nor recoils at the stereotypes, insults, and presumptions that have been used to cage and subdue African American self-esteem, but compels its readers to confront rather than retreat from or smooth over the retro Jim Crow imagery….American literature has seen the ascent of talented young black writers who aren't willing to settle for parochial or hidebound conceptions of who they are and what they should say…and it’s a fine time to be reminded that crazy, willful acts of hoodoo storytelling such as Negrophobia helped make this renaissance possible.
—Gene Seymour, Bookforum
Luridly funny and unsparingly smart, Negrophobia is American arcana of the highest order. And like all truly cool books, destined to forever be ahead of its time.
Darius James is a great writer.