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21. Myth, Literature and the African
22. Marxism and African Literature
23. Beyond Douglass: New Perspectives
24. The North Carolina Roots of African
25. African American Literature: A
26. The Cambridge Companion to African
27. African-American Voices in Young
28. Embracing, Evaluating, and Examining
29. Violence in Francophone African
30. Unexpected Places: Relocating
31. Nationalism, Marxism, and African
32. Love and Marriage in Early African
33. Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem: African
34. The Real Negro: The Question of
35. The Black Aesthetic Unbound: Theorizing
36. African American Literature and
37. The Black Renaissance in Francophone
38. The Cambridge Companion to the
39. Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African
40. Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin

21. Myth, Literature and the African World (Canto)
by Wole Soyinka
Paperback: 184 Pages (1990-11-30)
list price: US$22.99 -- used & new: US$14.15
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Asin: 0521398347
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and one of the foremost living African writers, here analyses the interconnecting worlds of myth, ritual and literature in Africa. The ways in which the African world perceives itself as a cultural entity, and the differences between its essential unity of experience and literary form and the sense of division pervading Western literature, are just some of the issues addressed. The centrality of ritual gives drama a prominent place in Soyinka's discussion, but he deals in equally illuminating ways with contemporary poetry and fiction. Above all, the fascinating insights in this book serve to highlight the importance of African criticism in addition to the literary and cultural achievements which are the subject of its penetrating analysis. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cantankerous Soyinka
The Ocident meets Africa in it's inherent opacity. This collection of Soyinka's essays are typical of his volatile temperment bursting through as to evoke a degree of amusement. Lumbering and academic a good study read.Providing a predictable alternative reading of the african tradition. ... Read more

22. Marxism and African Literature
 Paperback: 240 Pages (1986-01-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$14.95
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Asin: 0852555024
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This book stakes out an 'alternative terrain' for literary critics using a class-based analysis to discuss topics and themes in African literature. North America: Africa World Press ... Read more

23. Beyond Douglass: New Perspectives on Early African-American Literature (Apercus)
Paperback: 176 Pages (2008-10-31)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
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Asin: 0838757111
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24. The North Carolina Roots of African American Literature: An Anthology
Paperback: 328 Pages (2006-02-27)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$20.92
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Asin: 0807856657
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The first African American to publish a book in the South, the author of the first female slave narrative in the United States, the father of black nationalism in America--these and other founders of African American literature have a surprising connection to one another: they all hailed from the state of North Carolina.

This collection of poetry, fiction, autobiography, and essays showcases some of the best work of eight influential African American writers from North Carolina during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In his introduction, William L. Andrews explores the reasons why black North Carolinians made such a disproportionate contribution (in quantity and lasting quality) to African American literature as compared to what other southern states with larger African American populations produced. The authors in this anthology parlayed both the advantages and disadvantages of their North Carolina beginnings into sophisticated perspectives on the best and the worst of which humanity, in the South and the North, was capable. They created an African American literary tradition unrivaled by that of any other state in the South.

Writers included here are Charles W. Chesnutt, Anna Julia Cooper, David Bryant Fulton, George Moses Horton, Harriet Jacobs, Lunsford Lane, Moses Roper, and David Walker. ... Read more

25. African American Literature: A Guide to Reading Interests (Genreflecting Advisory series)
by Alma Dawson, Connie J Van Fleet
Hardcover: 500 Pages (2004-12-30)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$30.68
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Asin: 1563089319
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This is the first readers' advisory guide to focus specifically on African American literature. It is designed to help book professionals better serve not only African American readers, but all readers who enjoy works by African American authors. Like other titles in the series, the s book organizes titles by genres—crime and detective fiction, frontier literature, historical fiction, inspirational literature, speculative fiction, romance, and mainstream fiction. In addition to novels, the authors include a chapter on Life Stories—diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies—since African American literature was born of these forms, which share many appeals with fiction and continue to play an important role in literary tradition. Each chapter is further organized by subgenre and theme. Title-author and subject indexes provide additional access. A list of resources for information on African American authors is posted on the Libraries Unlimited Web site as a supplement to the book. In all, more than 700 titles are categorized and described. Award-winning titles are noted. In addition, keywords, and subject lists accompany each entry. A brief history of the evolution of African American literature, guidelines for collection development and research, and tips for the readers' advisor makes this a complete resource for readers' advisors, reference librarians, and collection development specialists in public and academic libraries. It will also have great appeal to high school libraries, and will be a useful resource for college-level courses on African American literature. Young adult and adult. Grades 10 and up.

... Read more

26. The Cambridge Companion to African American Women's Literature (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2009-05-25)
list price: US$94.99 -- used & new: US$75.99
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Asin: 0521858887
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The Cambridge Companion to African American Women's Literature covers a period dating back to the eighteenth century. These specially commissioned essays highlight the artistry, complexity and diversity of a literary tradition that ranges from Lucy Terry to Toni Morrison. A wide range of topics are addressed, from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Arts Movement, and from the performing arts to popular fiction. Together, the essays provide an invaluable guide to a rich, complex tradition of women writers in conversation with each other as they critique American society and influence American letters. Accessible and vibrant, with the needs of undergraduate students in mind, this Companion will be of great interest to anybody who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of this important and vital area of American literature. ... Read more

27. African-American Voices in Young Adult Literature: Tradition, Transition, Transformation
by Karen Patricia Smith
Paperback: 437 Pages (1994-01-01)
list price: US$55.55 -- used & new: US$19.40
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Asin: 0810842726
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Now in paperback! A collection of fourteen essays that address major issues related to significant works of African-American young adult literature. ... Read more

28. Embracing, Evaluating, and Examining African American Children's and Young Adult Literature
Paperback: 262 Pages (2007-12-13)
list price: US$49.50 -- used & new: US$40.07
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Asin: 0810860279
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Featuring 12 original essays that present research related to African American children's literature conducted by scholars from leading academic institutions, editors Wanda M. Brooks and Jonda C. McNair offer a bouquet of diverse perspectives on African American children's and young adult literature, focusing attention on texts, on readers, and on pedagogical strategies that have the potential to bring the texts and the readers together. ... Read more

29. Violence in Francophone African and Caribbean Women's Literature
by Marie-Chantal Kalisa
Hardcover: 236 Pages (2009-12-01)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$24.50
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Asin: 0803211023
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African and Caribbean peoples share a history dominated by the violent disruptions of slavery and colonialism. While much has been said about these “geographies of pain,” violence in the private sphere, particularly gendered violence, receives little attention. This book fills that void. It is a critical addition to the study of African and Caribbean women’s literatures at a time when women from these regions are actively engaged in articulating the ways in which colonial and postcolonial violence impact women.
Chantal Kalisa examines the ways in which women writers lift taboos imposed on them by their society and culture and challenge readers with their unique perspectives on violence. Comparing women from different places and times, Kalisa treats types of violence such as colonial, familial, linguistic, and war-related, specifically linked to dictatorship and genocide. She examines Caribbean writers Michele Lacrosil, Simone Schwartz-Bart, Gisèle Pineau, and Edwidge Danticat, and Africans Ken Begul, Calixthe Beyala, Nadine Bar, and Monique Ilboudo. She also includes Sembène Ousmane and Frantz Fanon for their unique contributions to the questions of violence and gender. This study advances our understanding of the attempts of African and Caribbean women writers to resolve the tension between external forms of violence and internal forms resulting from skewed cultural, social, and political rules based on gender.
(20100701) ... Read more

30. Unexpected Places: Relocating Nineteenth-Century African American Literature (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies)
by Eric Gardner
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2009-08-20)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$34.99
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Asin: 1604732830
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In January of 1861, on the eve of both the Civil War and the rebirth of the African Methodist Episcopal Church's Christian Recorder, John Mifflin Brown wrote to the paper praising its editor Elisha Weaver: "It takes our Western boys to lead off."

Weaver's story, though, like many of the contributions of early black literature outside of the urban Northeast, has almost vanished. Unexpected Places: Relocating Nineteenth-Century African American Literature recovers the work of early African American authors and editors such as Weaver who have been left off maps drawn by historians and literary critics. Individual chapters restore to consideration black literary locations in antebellum St. Louis, antebellum Indiana, Reconstruction-era San Francisco, and several sites tied to the Philadelphia-based Recorder during and after the Civil War.

In conversation with both archival sources and contemporary scholarship, Unexpected Places calls for a large-scale rethinking of the nineteenth-century African American literary landscape. In addition to revisiting such better-known writers as William Wells Brown, Maria Stewart, and Hannah Crafts, Unexpected Places offers the first critical considerations of important figures including William Jay Greenly, Jennie Carter, Polly Wash, and Lizzie Hart. The book's discussion of physical locations leads naturally to careful study of how region is tied to genre, authorship, publication circumstances, the black press, domestic and nascent black nationalist ideologies, and black mobility in the nineteenth century. ... Read more

31. Nationalism, Marxism, and African American Literature between the Wars: A New Pandora’s Box (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies)
by Anthony Dawahare
Paperback: 172 Pages (2007-06-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
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Asin: 1934110515
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During and after the Harlem Renaissance, two intellectual forces --nationalism and Marxism--clashed and changed the future of African American writing. Current literary thinking says that writers with nationalist leanings wrote the most relevant fiction, poetry, and prose of the day.

Nationalism, Marxism, and African American Literature Between the Wars: A New Pandora's Box challenges that notion. It boldly proposes that such writers as A. Philip Randolph, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright, who often saw the world in terms of class struggle, did more to advance the anti-racist politics of African American letters than writers such as Countee Cullen, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Alain Locke, and Marcus Garvey, who remained enmeshed in nationalist and racialist discourse.

Evaluating the great impact of Marxism and nationalism on black authors from the Harlem Renaissance and the Depression era, Anthony Dawahare argues that the spread of nationalist ideologies and movements between the world wars did guide legitimate political desires of black writers for a world without racism. But the nationalist channels of political and cultural resistance did not address the capitalist foundation of modern racial discrimination.

During the period known as the "Red Decade" (1929-1941), black writers developed some of the sharpest critiques of the capitalist world and thus anticipated contemporary scholarship on the intellectual and political hazards of nationalism for the working class.

As it examines the progression of the Great Depression, the book focuses on the shift of black writers to the Communist Left, including analyses of the Communists' position on the "Negro Question," the radical poetry of Langston Hughes, and the writings of Richard Wright.

Anthony Dawahare is an associate professor of English at California State University, Northridge. He has been published in African American Review, MELUS, Twentieth-Century Literature, and Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature, and the Arts. ... Read more

32. Love and Marriage in Early African America (Northeastern Library of Black Literature)
Paperback: 360 Pages (2007-12-31)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$18.68
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Asin: 1555536778
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Love and Marriage in Early African America brings together a remarkable range of folk sayings, rhymes, songs, poems, letters, lectures, sermons, short stories, memoirs, and autobiographies. Spanning over 100 years, from the slave era to the New Negro Movement, this extraordinary collection contradicts or nuances established notions that slavery fractured families, devalued sexual morality, distorted gender roles, and set in motion forces that now produce dismal and dangerous domestic situations. A culmination of twenty years of diligent research by noted scholar Frances Smith Foster, this anthology features selections on love and courtship, marriage, marriage rituals, and family. A compelling introduction places the primary texts in their social and literary context. A bibliography offers suggestions for further reading.

This volume includes materials by well known writers such as Frances E. W. Harper, Charles Chesnutt, and Alice Dunbar Nelson, but the majority of works are previously unknown or difficult-to-access materials. Many provide startling contrasts to representations in canonical literature. For example, "Patrick Brown's First Love" is a radical alternative to Frederick Douglass's "The Heroic Slave," and Thomas Detter's "The Octoroon" replaces the traditionally tragic mulatto trope with a female protagonist who shocks and awes. Love and Marriage in Early African America also changes our ideas about the relationship between religion and politics in early African America by featuring texts from the Afro-Protestant press; that is, the publishing organizations, writers, and reading groups under the direct auspices of, or publicly associated with, Afro-Protestant churches. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Love Rhymes from Early African America Endure Today
A new book by Emory English Professor Frances Smith Foster about love and marriage in African American history challenges popular belief that the horrors of slavery are the root cause of family crisis in current African American culture.

"Love and marriage were serious investments in the 18th century, and are so in our own contemporary experiences," Foster writes in PublicationLove and Marriage in Early African America (Northeastern University Press). "I now see how the rhymes and sayings, the folk stories we absorbed, were our heritage being passed down, particular values being enforced or espoused."

Foster, a senior fellow of Emory's Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR), compiled the anthology as part of the CSLR research project, "Sex, Marriage and Family & the Religions of the Book." Her research uncovered African American writings spanning the hundred years between the slave era and the Harlem Renaissance, and she found the works to be a testament to those who came before, to "the strength of African American families and to the many ways in which love lives in them."

Many of the writings are taken from publications and newspapers written by African Americans for African Americans, dating back to slave times. "I can't believe I studied African American literature for years without knowing that in the 18th and 19th centuries we had a viable print culture," writes Foster, who is Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Chair of Emory's English Department. "Even before Phillis Wheatley's book of poems appeared in 1773, African Americans were writing and publishing sermons and minutes of meetings, poems, essays, and autobiographies. At least by 1817, when the African Methodist Episcopal Book Concern was chartered, we had black editors and publishers, printers and marketing agents, journalists and correspondents, and enough people who could read and had money to buy books, newspapers and magazines."

This early print culture was often bound up with the Afro-Protestant Church, found Foster. The earliest known newspaper, Freedom's Journal, was started by a consortium of African Americans who lived in several states and cities, probably half of whom were ministers, she said.

The book, which Foster intends as a popular volume that will "work for many kinds of people with many kinds of intents and purposes," is arranged into five sections to represent the ideals and models for love and marriage that she sees reflected in 19th- and early 20th-century African American print culture. These sections--"In Love with Love," "Whether to Marry--and Who?" "Proposals and Vows," "Married Life," and "Family Trees Rooted--in Love,"--are subdivided into type of writing: lyrics, letters, memoirs, stories, newspaper articles, and so on, which are then ordered chronologically.

Not that any reflections on love and marriage can truly be put in order, Foster admits--but what sweet chaos and racing hearts reign within. The selections embody longing, loyalty, romance, intimacy, trust, betrayal, lost loves, broken hearts, cuckolded husbands, shrewish wives, newlyweds, first loves, lifelong loves, the loss of love, and marital issues from the common to the transcendent.

"Most of the selections I liked best are funny--affirmative, but not pretentious," she says.And by no means do all of the selections idealize love and marriage. In fact, many offer keen insights into how small slights and careless ways can seal a couple's fate.

In the short humorous fiction "A Dialogue between a Newly Married Couple" or "Matrimonial Quarrels," the first breakfast between a new husband and wife spells out their disastrous destiny. When the husband broke open his egg, his new wife exclaimed that he was breaking the shell at what she thought to be the wrong end. "No one else does so; and it looks so odd!" He retorts that her habit of "dipping strips of bread and butter into an egg certainly is not tidy," but she can do as she pleases if she will allow him the same. On and on the argument escalates, and future arguments ensue, "equally trifling in their origin...until the silly couple made themselves so disagreeable to each other that their home became unendurable and they separated."

As poignant as poems are some of the "Information Wanted" notices from the Christian Record, 1864 to 1893, one of which reads: "Information wanted of the whereabouts of my husband, Richard Jones, and our two sons, John and Thomas. We were separated in the woods near a place called alley white, in November, 1862. I was carried back to Suffolk by the Union troops. I have heard nothing of them since. We were owned by Virven Jones, of Smithfield, Suffolk County, Virginia. I am the grand daughter of Old Tom Pete Wilson. I am much in want at this time. Ministers will please read this notice in the churches. Matilda Jones, Washington D.C."

Foster says the idea for this anthology came about nearly 20 years ago when she was researching for a different, more academic work on the writings of Frances E.W. Harper, with her sister, Cle, near their parents' home in Ohio.

"Cle, who is a retired deputy sheriff and has little patience with fluffy stuff, kept finding these writings [about marriage, courtship, and love] in the archives and reading them and saying, `Hey, this is interesting! You ought to make a book of it.' " I was tired of writing only for academics, and was up for a different challenge," Foster says. "If what I'm doing is important, it should have some purchase--the stories we tell each other shape how we behave toward each other. These writings show that `children of the sun' can love romantically and deeply. These writings weren't secret, but they weren't written for outsiders either. They were written for people like themselves, by themselves, so were much more candid and honest."

Foster first had to get over her academic aversion to poetry that rhymes. "A lot of the writing that I at first thought was trifling, upon reading it again, I realized, oh, that's good," she says. "These writings help us understand what it means to be in love, to dare to love, when you're not expected to or actually forbidden to."

One of her favorites is Alice Dunbar-Nelson's "Violets," written in 1920.

I had not thought of violets of late,
The wild, shy kind that springs beneath your feet
In wistful April days, when lovers mate
And wander through the fields in raptures sweet,
And thought of violets meant florists' shops,
And bows and pins, and perfumed paper fine;
And garish lights, and mincing little fops
And cabarets and songs, and deadening wine.

So far from sweet real things my thoughts had strayed,
I had forgot wide fields, and clear brown streams;
The perfect loveliness that God has made--
Wild violets shy and heaven-mounting dreams.
And now--unwittingly, you've made me dream
Of violets, and my soul's forgotten gleam.

While Dunbar-Nelson, a teacher and poet (who probably knew something of love and marriage, having been married three times--to a fellow poet, a fellow teacher, and a journalist, to whom she stayed married until her death) achieved a fair level of fame, other writings collected in the anthology are anonymous in origin, penned by relative unknowns or previously unpublished.

A holiday like Valentine's Day, which is all about Cupid's arrows, says Foster, is "a bit too thin" for this type of complex, abiding love. "This is about love that is much bigger, serious stuff. The kind of love that sometimes meant you had to give up somebody, but had to keep going anyway. You couldn't break down just because that person wasn't there."

That's not to say, of course, that the writings compiled within her anthology don't rival the most ardent love sonnets, the most romantic lyrics, the most unrequited love letters--and yes, even the sappiest sentiments--that have been written before or since. In closing, then, is "Filled with You," by Olive Ward Bush-Banks, written in 1920.

By your fireside, close to my side,
You are sitting silently.
Eyes so tender, I surrender
To their charm and mystery:
All the room is filled with you.

Tho' no word of hope you've spoken,
Still my faith remains unbroken:
All the room is filled with you, dear
Filled with you.

In the twilight, by your firelight,
I would linger yet awhile,
Waiting gladly, loving madly
You, your sweetness and your smile:
All my world is filled with you.

Even tho' your love lives sleeping,
In the silence you are keeping:
All my world is filled with you, dear,
Filled with you.


The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University is home to world-class scholars and forums on the religious foundations of law, politics, and society. It offers first-rank expertise on how the teachings and practices of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have shaped and can continue to transform the fundamental ideas and institutions of our public and private lives. The scholarship of CSLR faculty provides the latest perspectives, while its conferences and public forums foster reasoned and robust public debate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Foster's 20 years of research yield a delightful collection
This newest anthology by the leading scholar Frances Smith Foster is a work of manifold merits.It does provide, as several other reviewers have remarked, a counterpoint to the traditional assumptions that the amorous and marital lives of early African Americans were largely short-lived and unfulfilling.More than just proving many marriages to be remarkably resilient, however, Foster's book depicts a full array of affectionate sentiments.Some are light selections, from marriage advice ("Never marry a mope or a drone") to waggish rhymes:

I loves my gal,
She hain't no goose--
Blacker `an blackberries
Sweeter `an juice

Others, though, are ruminations on the deep pathos of lovers in bondage, as in the 1861 passage by Harriet Jacobs, which asks "Why does the slave ever love? Why allow the tendrils of the heart to twine around objects which may at any moment be wrenched away by the hand of violence?"Such pieces round out a varied selection, encompassing wedding vows, bachelor ads, letters exchanged between spouses, first-person accounts of family life, and a great deal more.

While the anthology is, on the one hand, a terrifically valuable document of social history, it is also evidence of an African-American print culture and literate community significantly larger than most contemporary readers would ever suspect.The compilation brings together countless texts made available here for the first time, and is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the literary and romantic lives of African Americans across the century of writing that the book spans.Complete with a touchingly personal introduction and a useful list of further reading, this well-organized volume will fit as perfectly into a family library as it will a college syllabus.A truly wonderful collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars I like it
I especially like the introduction and found the content interesting historically and relevant to life today. Although the author is a scholar, she writes in a way that is easy to understand and read.Some of it is very touching and moving.But there are also many humorous entries.

5-0 out of 5 stars love overdue
This book is long overdue.The material debunks the myths that African Americans did not believe in long stable relationships.It provides inspiration, humor, historical information and much, much more.It should be a must read for every student.It will uplift some, enlighten some, and encourage some.

5-0 out of 5 stars Affirmation of Love
This book is inspirational!It debunks the myth that modern African-American families are in eternal crisis because slavery tore apart men and women seeking long-term intimate relationships and this instability has impacted modern relationships.On the contrary, this book shows love among antebellum African-Americans had a persistence, longevity and depth little known to those in the modern world.The presentation is witty and organized in a way that allows the reader to laugh, morn and relate to the circumstances in which the couples find themselves in a single sitting.This book should discussed and shared with family and friends as a catalyst to heal the wounds created by the myth that life-long commitment between African-Americans is abnormal.It is a must have in every reader's personal collection! ... Read more

33. Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem: African American Literature and Culture, 1877-1919
by Caroline Gebhard
Paperback: 336 Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$22.54
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Asin: 0814731686
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The years between the collapse of Reconstruction and the end of World War I mark a pivotal moment in African American cultural production. Christened the "Post-Bellum-Pre-Harlem" era by the novelist Charles Chesnutt, these years look back to the antislavery movement and forward to the artistic flowering and racial self-consciousness of the Harlem Renaissance.

Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem offers fresh perspectives on the literary and cultural achievements of African American men and women during this critically neglected, though vitally important, period of our nation's past. Using a wide range of disciplinary approaches, the sixteen scholars gathered here offer both a reappraisal and celebration of African American cultural production during these influential decades. Alongside discussions of political and artistic icons such as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and James Weldon Johnson are essays revaluing figures such as the writers Paul and Alice Dunbar-Nelson, the New England painter Edward Mitchell Bannister, and Georgia-based activists Lucy Craft Laney and Emmanuel King Love.

Contributors explore an array of forms from fine art to anti-lynching drama, from sermons to ragtime and blues, and from dialect pieces and early black musical theater to serious fiction.

Contributors include: Frances Smith Foster, Carla L. Peterson, Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Audrey Thomas McCluskey, Barbara Ryan, Robert M. Dowling, Barbara A. Baker, Paula Bernat Bennett, PhilipJ. Kowalski, Nikki L. Brown, Koritha A. Mitchell, Margaret Crumpton Winter, Rhonda Reymond, and Andrew J. Scheiber.

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34. The Real Negro: The Question of Authenticity in Twentieth-Century African American Literature (Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory)
by Shelly Eversley
Hardcover: 136 Pages (2004-03-29)
list price: US$123.00 -- used & new: US$107.10
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Asin: 0415968356
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In this book, Shelly Eversley historicizes the demand for racial authenticity - what Zora Neale Hurston called 'the real Negro' - in twentieth-century American literature. Eversley argues that the modern emergence of the interest in 'the real Negro' transforms the question of what race an author belongs into a question of what it takes to belongto that race. Consequently, Paul Laurence Dunbar's Negro dialect poems were prized in the first part of the century because - written by a black man - they were not 'imitation' black, while the dialect performances by Zora Neale Hurston were celebrated because, written by a 'real' black, they were not 'imitation' white. The second half of the century, in its dismissal of material segregation, sanctions a notion of black racial meaning as internal and psychological and thus promotes a version of black racial 'truth' as invisible and interior, yet fixed within a stable conception of difference.The Real Negro foregrounds how investments in black racial specificity illuminate the dynamic terms that define what makes a text and a person 'black', while it also reveals how 'blackness', spoken and authentic, guards a more fragile, because unspoken, commitment to the purity and primacy of 'whiteness' as a stable, uncontested ideal. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lit lover
This book is a true testament to thought in reference to "the place" of the black writer. The issues raised bv the author can be piercing in their clarity. It is a must for any university Lit program or library collection, where real discussion is placed on African-American Literature, thereby American Literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most important book
This really complicated book--with highly informed theoretical concepts--makes a controversial and solid arugment about the making of race in the United States.It should be a mandatory read for anyone interested in twentieth century American and African American literature. ... Read more

35. The Black Aesthetic Unbound: Theorizing the Dilemma of Eighteenth-Century African American Literature
by Ph.D. April C.E. Langley
Hardcover: 210 Pages (2008-01-08)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
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Asin: 0814210775
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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During the era of the slave trade, more than 12 million Africans were brought as slaves to the Americas. Their memories, ideas, beliefs, and practices would forever reshape its history and cultures. April C. E. Langley’s The Black Aesthetic Unbound exposes the dilemma of the literal, metaphorical, and rhetorical question, "What is African in African American literature?" Confronting the undeniable imprints of West African culture and consciousness in early black writing such as Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative or Phillis Wheatley’s poetry, the author conceives eighteenth-century Black Experience to be literally and figuratively encompassing and inextricably linked to Africa, Europe, and America.

Consequently, this book has three aims: to locate the eighteenth century as the genesis of the cultural and historical movements which mark twentieth-century black aestheticism—known as the Black Aesthetic; to analyze problematic associations of African identity as manifested in an essentialized Afro-America; and to study the relationship between specific West African modes of thought and expression and the emergence of a black aesthetic in eighteenth-century North America. By exploring how Senegalese, Igbo, and other West African traditions provide striking new lenses for reading poetry and prose by six significant writers, Langley offers a fresh perspective on this important era in our literary history. Ultimately, the author confronts the difficult dilemma of how to use diasporic, syncretic, and vernacular theories of Black culture to think through the massive cultural transformations wrought by the Middle Passage.

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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Facinating, Extremely well done... a must read
This book is an excellent read.It is a must read for all cultures ... Read more

36. African American Literature and the Classicist Tradition: Black Women Writers from Wheatley to Morrison
by Tracey L. Walters
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2007-10-15)
list price: US$80.00 -- used & new: US$74.51
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Asin: 0230600220
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This is a groundbreaking study exploring the significant relationship between western classical mythology and African American women's literature. A comparative analysis of classical revisions by eighteenth and nineteenth century Black women writers Phillis Wheatley and Pauline Hopkins and twentieth century writers Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, and Rita Dove reveals that Black women writers revise specific classical myths for artistic and political agency. The study demonstrates that women rework myth to represent mythical stories from the Black female perspective and to counteract denigrating contemporary cultural and social myths that disempower and devalue Black womanhood. Through their adaptations of classical myths about motherhood, Wheatley, Ray, Brooks, Morrison, and Dove uncover the shared experiences of mythic mothers and their contemporary African American counterparts thus offering a unique Black feminist perspective to classicism. The women also use myth as a liberating space where they can Â"speak the unspeakableÂ" and empower their subjects as well as themselves.
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37. The Black Renaissance in Francophone African and Caribbean Literatures
by K. Martial Frindethie
Paperback: 215 Pages (2008-04-07)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$39.00
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Asin: 0786436638
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This work explores the limits and prospects of Afro-Caribbean Francophone writers in reshaping or producing action-oriented literature. It shows how Francophone literatures have followed a hegemonic discourse that leaves little room for thinking outside of traditional cultural and ideological conventions. Part One explores the origins of Afro-Caribbean Francophone literature and what the author terms "griotism"-a shared heritage of awareness of biological differences, a sense of the black hero as black messiah and black people as chosen, and the promise of a common racial history. Part Two discusses the formidable grip of griotism on Fanon, Mudimbe, the champions of Creolity (Bernabe, Chamoiseau, and Confiant), and well-read African women writers (Aminata Sow Fall, and Mariama Ba). Part Three seeks to subvert the discourse of griotism in order to propose a new autonomy for Francophone African writers. ... Read more

38. The Cambridge Companion to the Harlem Renaissance (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Paperback: 296 Pages (2007-07-23)
list price: US$30.99 -- used & new: US$24.89
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Asin: 0521673682
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The Harlem Renaissance (1918-1937) was the most influential single movement in African American literary history. Its key figures include W. E. B. Du Bois, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay,and Langston Hughes. The movement laid the groundwork for all later African American literature, and had an enormous impact on later black literature world-wide. With chapters by a wide range of well-known scholars, this Companion is an authoritative and engaging guide to the movement.It first discusses the historical contexts of the Harlem Renaissance, both national and international; then presents original discussions of a wide array of authors and texts; and finally treats the reputation of the movement in later years. Giving full play to the disagreements and differences that energized the renaissance, this Companion presents the best of current wisdom as well as a set of new readings encouraging further exploration of this dynamic field. ... Read more

39. Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African American Literary History
by John Ernest
Paperback: 336 Pages (2009-11-15)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$15.25
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Asin: 0807859834
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What is African American about African American literature? Why identify it as a distinct tradition? John Ernest contends that too often scholars have relied on naïve concepts of race, superficial conceptions of African American history, and the marginalization of important strains of black scholarship. With this book, he creates a new and just retelling of African American literary history that neither ignores nor transcends racial history.

Ernest revisits the work of nineteenth-century writers and activists such as Henry "Box" Brown, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Wilson, William Wells Brown, and Sojourner Truth, demonstrating that their concepts of justice were far more radical than those imagined by most white sympathizers. He sheds light on the process of reading, publishing, studying, and historicizing this work during the twentieth century. Looking ahead to the future of the field, Ernest offers new principles of justice that grant fragmented histories, partial recoveries, and still-unprinted texts the same value as canonized works. His proposal is both a historically informed critique of the field and an invigorating challenge to present and future scholars. ... Read more

40. Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing
Paperback: 368 Pages (2009-04-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.98
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Asin: B002PJ4LEA
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A one-of-a-kind collection showcasing the energy of new African literature

Coming at a time when Africa and African writers are in the midst of a remarkable renaissance, Gods and Soldiers captures the vitality and urgency of African writing today. With stories from northern Arabic-speaking to southern Zulu-speaking writers, this collection conveys thirty different ways of approaching what it means to be African. Whether about life in the new urban melting pots of Cape Town and Luanda, or amid the battlefield chaos of Zimbabwe and Somalia, or set in the imaginary surreal landscapes born out of the oral storytelling tradition, these stories represent a striking cross section of extraordinary writing. Including works by J. M. Coetzee, Chimamanda Adichie, Nuruddin Farah, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Chinua Achebe, and edited by Rob Spillman of Tin House magazine, Gods and Soldiers features many pieces never before published, making it a vibrant and essential glimpse of Africa as it enters the twenty-first century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction into 21st Century African Talent
The editor of this piece likely tried to strike a balance between introducing readers to new voices while also including well-known names -- older coots like Achebe, Coetzee and Gordimer. This is quite a smart decision from the marketing standpoint but readers suffer for it. The well-known writers (to the average Western audiencemember) seem flat and outdated here, even stagnant. In contrast, lesser lights like Alain Mabanckou, Jose Agualusa and Mia Couto knock our socks off -- even in translation! Nevertheless, get this book and read it so you can learn about the richly talented literatures of Africa awaiting you. The short tour of Northern, Eastern, Western, Francophone, Portuguese-speaking and Southern African regions will have you scouring the internet and bookstores for more.

5-0 out of 5 stars A top pick for any library strong in African representation
GODS AND SOLDIERS: THE PENGUIN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN WRITING is a top pick for any library strong in African representation. It provides stories reflecting the modern continent's concerns and experiences - some thirty - and reflects different cultures and perspectives across the continent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular
This is a spectacular collection of prose, and is smartly arranged--it starts with someone we've all heard of, "Things Fall Apart" author Chinua Achebe, and then introduces us to lots of new voices, as well as reacquainting us with some familiar ones like Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee. Mia Coutu's essay on "Languages We Don't Know", which references Joyce's idea of chaosmology,is profound. This is a fabulous introduction to contemporary African writing. ... Read more

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