Music: The Amazing Oscar Micheaux (Stace England and the Salt Kings)

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January/February 2010 Issue

The Salt Kings are a scruffy alt-country quartet from Illinois; Oscar Micheaux was a legendary African American film director whose career began in the silent era. An unlikely combination, perhaps, but Stace England and company draw plenty of inspiration from Micheaux, who challenged racism in more than 40 movies. England’s long-standing interest in African American history (he previously made an album about a former slave house) enriches his latest effort. In some songs, including “Veiled Aristocrats” (about light-skinned blacks passing for white), he tackles the issues head on; in others, such as “The Betrayal,” he does it indirectly. Either way, the high lonesome voices and scalding electric guitars are stirring.

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If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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