Arts Desk

Don’t Be Bored: Touré

In the Obama era, we’re told, racial identity is more complicated than ever. Our first black president, after all, has no Southern slaves in his bloodline—but does have a Kenyan father, a white mother, an Asian sister, an Indonesian childhood, and an African-American family in Chicago that helped him find an adult sense of belonging. Typecast him at your peril. In Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? Touré argues that black people with less exotic life stories should feel similarly free to look beyond one singular definition of identity. It’s a compelling argument that fits nicely with our polyglot times. But it also raises a question: Just when would such a limited idea of identity have ever been acceptable? It’s idiotic to argue that black people’s shared challenges ended with Obama’s victory. But it’s also dangerous to imply that identities and aspirations only became so diverse in our postmodern era. Touré, to his credit, doesn’t do this, though the shorthand version of the post-blackness meme seems to. Here’s hoping that meme becomes a lens for re-examining the past as well as a way of understanding the future. (Michael Schaffer) Touré discusses his book with Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart at 6:30 p.m. at Busboys & Poets. Free.

MUSIC

Local band Paperhaus plays Velvet Lounge with Wild Fruit and Sleeping in the Aviary. City Paper contributor Marian McLaughlin says the band, which includes Brandon Moses from Laughing Man, finds new material in old Bob Dylan. 9 p.m. $8.

This summer, electronic musician Yoko K. released Heaven's Library, a delicate, gauzy pastiche of electronic glitch-pop. This month, she's an artist-in-residence at Strathmore, and she plays her first of two October shows at the Mansion tonight. 7:30 p.m. $12.

City Paper jazz writer Michael J. West favors tonight's Teddy Charles Tentet performance at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The longtime vibraphonist is retired, but he's bringing a big ensemble to H Street NE tonight anyway. 8 p.m. $35.

Also in jazz: The Red Door Loft hosts Giant Dwarf, a duo that comprises guitarist Martin Philadelphy and drummer Jeremy Carlstedt; local sax player Brian Settles will get things started. 8 p.m. No admission price listed.

TALKS

If you've ever been to a Suzanne Farrell Ballet performance at its home at the Kennedy Center, you've probably witnessed a collaboration between company director Suzanne Farrell and orchestra leader Emil de Cou. Tonight at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Farrell and de Cou discuss George Balanchine's "Diamonds," which they will present with the Sarasota Ballet October 12 through 16 in the Eisenhower Theater. 7 p.m. $20.

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