Search results for: black-literature-essays

Black White and in Color

Author : Hortense J. Spillers
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Black, White, and in Color offers a long-awaited collection of major essays by Hortense Spillers, one of the most influential and inspiring black critics of the past twenty years. Spanning her work from the early 1980s, in which she pioneered a broadly poststructuralist approach to African American literature, and extending through her turn to cultural studies in the 1990s, these essays display her passionate commitment to reading as a fundamentally political act-one pivotal to rewriting the humanist project. Spillers is best known for her race-centered revision of psychoanalytic theory and for her subtle account of the relationships between race and gender. She has also given literary criticism some of its most powerful readings of individual authors, represented here in seminal essays on Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, and William Faulkner. Ultimately, the essays collected in Black, White, and in Color all share Spillers's signature style: heady, eclectic, and astonishingly productive of new ideas. Anyone interested in African American culture and literature will want to read them.

The Second Black Renaissance

Author : C. W. E. Bigsby
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The Black Press

Author : Todd Vogel
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The City in African American Literature

Author : Yoshinobu Hakutani
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While one of the central drives in classic American letters has been a reflexive desire to move away from the complexity and supposed corruption of cities toward such idealized nonurban settings as Cooper's prairies, Thoreau's woods, Melville's seas, Whitman's open road, and Twain's river, nearly the opposite has been true in African-American letters. Indeed the main tradition of African-American literature has been, for the most part, strikingly positive in its vision of the city. Although never hesitant to criticize the negative aspects of city life, classic African-American writers have only rarely suggested that pastoral alternatives exist for African-Americans and have therefore celebrated in a great variety of ways the possibilities of urban living. For Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Ralph Ellison, the city, despite its many problems, has been a place of deliverance and renewal. In the words of Alain Locke, the city provided "a new vision of opportunity" for African-Americans that could enable them to move from an enslaving "medieval" world to a modern world containing the possibility of liberation. More recent African-American literature has also been noteworthy for its largely affirmative vision of urban life. Amiri Baraka's 1981 essay "Black Literature and the Afro-American Nation: The Urban Voice" argues that, from the Harlem Renaissance onward, African-American literature has been "urban shaped," producing a uniquely "black urban consciousness." And Toni Morrison, although stressing that the American city in general has often induced a sense of alienation in many African-American writers, nevertheless adds that modern African-American literature is suffused with an "affection" for "the village within" the city. Gwendolyn Brook's poetry and Gloria Naylor's fiction, likewise, celebrate this sense of cultural unity in the black city. In addition to these writers, the sixteen new essays in this collection discuss the works of Claude McKay, William Attaway, Willard Motley, Ann Petry, John A. Williams, Charles Johnson, Samuel R. Delany, Ed Bullins, Adrienne Kennedy, and Lorraine Hansberry. The authors of these essays range from critics in America to those abroad, as well as from specialists in African-American literature to those in other fields.


Author : Emmanuel Sampath Nelson
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Includes essays by Shoemaker, Sykes, Muecke, Headon, Watego, annotated separately.

Black American Writers

Author : NA NA
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Reading Black

Author : Houston A. Baker
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Black Literature Essays

Author : Darwin T. Turner
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A Companion to African American Literature

Author : Gene Andrew Jarrett
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"A master archivist and historian of African American literature, Gene Jarrett has assembled a compelling new collection of essays for this necessary addition to the study of African American writing and thought. The volume offers a comprehensive survey of the African American canon, but also goes in new directions, giving fresh emphasis to the earliest writing of African Americans as well as to the exciting field of Latino/-a writing in the African Diaspora. This is a field-defining collection." Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University.

A Son s Return

Author : Sterling A. Brown
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Essays on African-American politics, literature and music by Sterling A. Brown (1901-1989), which point out the biases against black Americans in white cultural expression and argue for a recognition of the cultural contributions of African Americans.

Long Black Song

Author : Houston A. Baker
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Houston Baker maintains that black American culture, grounded in a unique historical experience, is distinct from any other, and that it has produced a body of literature that is equally and demonstrably unique in its sources, values, and modes of expression. He argues that black American literature is rooted in black folklore- animal tales, trickster slave tales, religious tales, folk songs, spirituals, and ballads- and that a knowledge of this tradition is essential to the understanding of any individual black author or work. To deomonstrate the continuity of this tradition, Baker examines themes that appear in folklore and persist throughout contemporary black literature. "Freedom and Apocalypse," for example, traces the idea that black Americans are a chosen people who will, by some violent means, overthrow the white man's tyranny. The essays culminate in an examination of the life and work of Richard Wright. Baker's treatment of Wright as a black American artist who recorded the black man's shift from an agrarian to an urban setting places Wright and the tradition of black literature and culture in a fresh perspective.

The Black Interior

Author : Elizabeth Alexander
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A collection of essays on contemporary African-American artistic life reflects on the roles of such literary figures as Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and Rita Dove; provides an incisive reassessment of the work of painter Jean-Michel Basquiet; and examines Denzel Washington's career as a black male icon, among other topics. Original.

Black American Writers Bibliographical Essays vol 2 Richard Wright Ralph Ellison James Baldwin Amiri Baraka

Author : NA NA
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South of Tradition

Author : Trudier Harris
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With characteristic originality and insight, Trudier Harris-Lopez offers a new and challenging approach to the work of African American writers in these twelve previously unpublished essays. Collectively, the essays show the vibrancy of African American literary creation across several decades of the twentieth century. But Harris-Lopez's readings of the various texts deliberately diverge from traditional ways of viewing traditional topics. South of Tradition focuses not only on well-known writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Richard Wright, but also on up-and-coming writers such as Randall Kenan and less-known writers such as Brent Wade and Henry Dumas. Harris-Lopez addresses themes of sexual and racial identity, reconceptualizations of and transcendence of Christianity, analyses of African American folk and cultural traditions, and issues of racial justice. Many of her subjects argue that geography shapes identity, whether that geography is the European territory many blacks escaped to from the oppressive South, or the South itself, where generations of African Americans have had to come to grips with their relationship to the land and its history. For Harris-Lopez, "south of tradition" refers both to geography and to readings of texts that are not in keeping with expected responses to the works. She explains her point of departure for the essays as "a slant, an angle, or a jolt below the line of what would be considered the norm for usual responses to African American literature." The scope of Harris-Lopez's work is tremendous. From her coverage of noncanonical writers to her analysis of humor in the best-selling The Color Purple, she provides essential material that should inform all future readings of African American literature.

Blacks in Hispanic Literature

Author : Blacks
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Black is the Color of the Cosmos

Author : Charles Twitchell Davis
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Black White Writing

Author : Pauline Fletcher
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"It is the fate of South African literature to be political. For better or worse, South African writers, some of whom have now acquired international reputations, have been held hostage to apartheid, which has imposed its own brutal and limiting categories even on those who oppose it. Nevertheless, as Black/White Writing: Essays on South African Literature demonstrates, writers of talent have found extraordinarily diverse and creative ways of dealing with the constraints of their historical condition." "In the opening essay Nadine Gordimer attempts to answer the question "For whom do you write?" As a politically committed writer, Gordimer would no doubt like to be read by the oppressed people whose cause she has always championed, but she is forced to recognize that South African realities render illusory the cherished concept of the universality of literature." "Gordimer's novels are discussed in three of the articles that follow. Nancy Bazin shows how, in dealing with the theme of interracial sex, Gordimer has become increasingly aware of the silent and largely ignored black woman who forms the third point of the love triangle. Pauline Fletcher argues that behind the political stance of Gordimer's novels lies a distrust of the abstractions of even the most enlightened politics; her subtext celebrates the truth of the body. Nicholas Visser places Gordimer's July's People in its historical context and compares it with other novels of future projection by Karel Schoeman and J. M. Coetzee." "Visser's overtly political and historicist study is contrasted by Sarah Heider's essay on Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K. It is perhaps fitting that Coetzee, who has expressed distaste for the fate of being a South African writer, should receive attention from a critic who, while ignoring the historical context of the novel, demonstrates K's rejection of all attempts to convert his story into the accepted currencies of the social system." "Many black women writers from South Africa have also attempted to resist the political imperatives imposed upon writers by apartheid. Their work has in consequence often been called apolitical, and it is only recently that it has been given the consideration it deserves. Elizabeth Taylor examines the often problematical relationship between tradition and the black writer in her discussion of the ways in which black women have had to negotiate between their desire to preserve cultural continuity and their need to resist much in their inherited culture that is oppressive for women. For writers of mixed race the relation to tradition is even more problematical, perhaps accounting for the fact that both Bessie Head and Zoe Wicomb went into voluntary exile. Their work does not fall into the category of anti-apartheid writing, but (as Carol Sicherman and Isabella Matsikidze show) it does have a political dimension and it points in the direction that fiction might take in a post-apartheid South Africa." "The volume closes with an essay by Gerald Monsman that takes the reader back to an earlier South Africa, examining Olive Schreiner's writing in the broader context of other stories from an imperialist past." "Two poems by Dennis Brutus open the volume. They speak eloquently of human suffering and the desire for peace."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Let it be Told

Author : Lauretta G. Ngcobo
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Essays on Free State Black Literature

Author : Pule Lechesa
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The Essential Black Literature Guide

Author : Roger M. Valade
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Lists 450 authors, works, and movements that together reflect the diversity and significance of Black literature