Books: Highbrown Highbrow

BORN To BE—Taylor Gordon—Covici-Friede ($4). (Introduction by Carl Van Vechten; Foreword by Muriel Draper; Illustrations by Covarrubias).

Taylor Gordon, famed here and abroad for singing spirituals, needs no ghostwriter to tell his story for him. He tends to his own self-expression.

His grandfather was a black chief. His father was a black chef. At their deaths he was raised by his chocolate-brown mother who once slaved in Kentucky's blue grass. She taught small Taylor to knock wood. But one thing she did not teach him. . . .

In the '90s the Gordons were the...

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