Astute Urban Fiction
2 views | +0 today
Follow
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Alicia Finley from Biko Mondays
Scoop.it!

African-American History-Famous Authors: Gwendolyn Brooks

African-American History-Famous Authors: Gwendolyn Brooks | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000):

Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry con...

Via zamantungwa
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Alicia Finley from OUR COMMON GROUND Informed Truth and Resistance
Scoop.it!

Featuring James Baldwin

Featuring James Baldwin | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it

Although he spent a great deal of his life abroad, James Baldwin always remained a quintessentially American writer. Whether he was working in Paris or Istanbul, he never ceased to reflect on his experience as a black man in white America. In numerous essays, novels, plays, and public speeches, the eloquent voice of James Baldwin spoke of the pain and struggle of black Americans and the saving power of brotherhood.

 

James Baldwin was born in Harlem in 1924. The oldest of nine children, he grew up in poverty, developing a troubled relationship with his strict, religious father. As a child, he cast about for a way to escape his circumstances. As he recalls, “I knew I was black, of course, but I also knew I was smart. I didn’t know how I would use my mind, or even if I could, but that was the only thing I had to use.” By the time he was fourteen, Baldwin was spending much of his time in libraries and had found his passion for writing.

 

During this early part of his life, he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a preacher. Of those teen years, Baldwin recalled, “Those three years in the pulpit — I didn’t realize it then — that is what turned me into a writer, really, dealing with all that anguish and that despair and that beauty.” Many have noted the  strong nfluence of the language of the church on Baldwin’s style, its cadences and tone. Eager to move on, Baldwin knew that if he left the pulpit he must also leave home, so at eighteen he took a job working for the New Jersey railroad.

 

After working for a short while with the railroad, Baldwin moved to Greenwich Village, where he came into contact with the well-known writer Richard Wright. Baldwin worked for a number of years as a freelance writer, working primarily on book reviews. Though Baldwin had not yet finished a novel, Wright helped to secure him a grant with which he could support himself as a writer in Paris. So, in 1948 Baldwin left for Paris, where he would find enough distance from the American society he grew up in to write about it.

 

After writing a number of pieces that were published in various magazines, Baldwin went to Switzerland to finish his first novel. Go Tell It on the Mountain, published in 1953, was an autobiographical work about growing up in Harlem. The passion and depth with which he described the struggles of black Americans was unlike anything that had been written. Though not instantly recognized as such, Go Tell It on the Mountain has long been considered an American classic. Throughout the rest of the decade, Baldwin moved from Paris to New York to Istanbul, writing Notes of a Native Son (1955) and Giovanni’s Room (1956). Dealing with taboo themes in both books (interracial relationships and homosexuality, respectively), Baldwin was creating socially relevant and psychologically penetrating literature.

 

Being abroad gave Baldwin a perspective on his life and a solitary freedom to pursue his craft. “Once you find yourself in another civilization,” he notes, “you’re forced to examine your own.” In a sense, Baldwin’s travels brought him even closer to the social concerns of contemporary America. In the early 1960s, overwhelmed with a responsibility to the times, Baldwin returned to take part in the civil rights movement. Traveling throughout the South, he began work on an explosive work about black identity and the state of racial struggle, The Fire Next Time (1963). For many, Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were an early and primary voice in the civil rights movement. Though at times criticized for his pacifist stance, Baldwin remained throughout the 1960s an important figure in that struggle.

After the assassinations of his friends Medgar Evers, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, Baldwin returned to France where he worked on a book about the disillusionment of the times, If Beale Street Could Talk (1974). Many responded to the harsh tone of If Beale Street Could Talk with accusations of bitterness. But, even if Baldwin had encapsulated much of the anger of the times in his book, he always remained a constant advocate for universal love and brotherhood. During the last ten years of his life, Baldwin produced a number of important works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and turned to teaching as a new way of connecting with the young. By his death in 1987, James Baldwin had become one of the most important and vocal advocates for equality. From Go Tell It on the Mountain to The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985), James Baldwin created works of literary beauty and depth that will remain essential parts of the American canon.

 

From the PBS Masters Series


Via OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Alicia Finley
Scoop.it!

The Harlem Renaissance: Zora Neale Hurston's First Story

The Harlem Renaissance: Zora Neale Hurston's First Story | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it

Zora Neale Hurston Harlem Renaissance 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Alicia Finley
Scoop.it!

Sister Souljah Interview

Sister Souljah Interview | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it
Back on the scene with a new novel, Sister Souljah talks to The Root about the purpose behind her work, hip-hop and what she thinks of the "street lit" label.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Alicia Finley from Library world, new trends, technologies
Scoop.it!

Is American Library Association Ghetto-izing Black Authors?

Is American Library Association Ghetto-izing Black Authors? | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it
Janice Harayda Reviews Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry for Adults and Children...

Via Patrick Provencher
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Alicia Finley
Scoop.it!

JAMES BALDWIN: Urban Renewal II Video

JAMES BALDWIN: Urban Renewal II Video | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it

James Baldwin explains that the policy of "urban renewal" is really a policy of negro removal.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Alicia Finley from 6-Traits Resources
Scoop.it!

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it
Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature.

Via Dennis T OConnor
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Alicia Finley from Young Adult Novels
Scoop.it!

White Readers Meet Black Authors: Books for a young black man?

White Readers Meet Black Authors: Books for a young black man? | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it

Coe Booth's books are really enjoyed by my students--try this new title soon!


Via BJ Neary
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Alicia Finley from Read Ye, Read Ye
Scoop.it!

In Honor of Black History Month: 5 Great Books By 5 Great Black Authors

In Honor of Black History Month: 5 Great Books By 5 Great Black Authors | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it

These are my five favorite (fiction) books by African-American writers:

1) NATIVE SON, by Richard Wright

2) THE COLOR PURPLE, by Alice Walker

3) SONG OF SOLOMON, by Toni Morrison

4) I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, by Maya Angelou

5) INVISIBLE MAN, by Ralph Ellison


Via Baochi
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Alicia Finley
Scoop.it!

Hue-Man Bookstore | A SKU For Every Hue

Hue-Man Bookstore | A SKU For Every Hue | Astute Urban Fiction | Scoop.it
RT @HUEMANBOOKS: Support our African American Authors by buying their books & ebooks online 24x7 http://t.co/XTRnW1JJ Deep discounts thru 12/24.
more...
No comment yet.