The career of “Touré”
Touré’s real name is Touré Neblett and he was born in Boston in 1971. Evidently his last name would make him sound like a regular American black so he uses just his first name which makes him sound more exotic. Actually I can’t blame him for the choice. “Touré” is distinctive, while “Touré Neblett” is odd, with the exotic first name and the common-sounding last name not fitting together. Wikipedia tells us that when Neblett began writing fiction in his mid twenties, “His first piece was the story of Sugar Lips Shinehot, a 1940 Harlem saxophonist who loses his ability to see white people.” He also has written a novel, Soul City, about life in an African-American Utopia, and two other books. Since the mid Oughts his career has been as a TV commentator.
Can you imagine a white man who had written a story about a white musician who loses the ability to see black people, and a novel about a white American utopia, going on to a high-profile television career? Such a white writer would be invisible, a non-person in today’s America, hidden somewhere in the white right underground.