Stevie Wonder Ellen Willis - Essay

Ellen Willis

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Wonder not only has attracted a huge interracial audience and made the cover of Newsweek at a time when there is little communication between black and white musical cultures but has engaged our imaginations, made connections, become more than a performer…. At his best, he has the power to make optimism and racial reconciliation marvellously credible. Without denying "the nightmare that's becomin' real life"—pain, anger, bitterness toward oppressors, even the petty spite that can arise out of disappointment in love are all present in his lyrics, in the strange, often tormented sounds he coaxes out of the synthesizer—he can suggest that the joy of being human ultimately prevails. And because the anarchic,...

(The entire section is 646 words.)