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Midnight at the BarrelhouseThe Johnny Otis Story$
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George Lipsitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816666782

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816666782.001.0001

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Listen to the Lambs

Listen to the Lambs

(p.80) Four Listen to the Lambs
Midnight at the Barrelhouse

George Lipsitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on the writing of Johnny Otis following the Watts riots—all of which culminated into the book Listen to the Lambs, a moving and powerful publication in support of the rebellion and the people who waged it. The book depicts the pressures that shaped life and death in the ghetto, arguing that the Watts incident was a result of pent up strains which could be felt throughout US society. Otis rebuffed claims about the riots being criminal in intent, instead asserting that the revolt was a political statement by people without any other way of getting their voices heard. His book also demonstrates the ways of being a pro-Black person in a society which rewards those who are anti-Black.

Keywords:   Listen to the Lambs, Watts riots, ghetto, US society, pro-Black, anti-Black, Johnny Otis

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