Browse Items (27 total)

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Maya Angelou, a famed author, playwright, activist, and poet is best known for her seven autobiographies. Scholars and critics have favored the autobiographies leaving her poetry largely unexamined. Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well was the…

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Widely known for jazz aesthetic and musical rhythms in his poetry, Yusef Komunyakaa expands his jazz style in Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems. Komunyakaa crafted a poetry collection that moves beyond familiar jazz impulses into a new…

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Set on the south side of Chicago in the 1930s and written from post-renaissance Harlem, Richard Wright’s Native Son presents the reality of racism in the U.S. during the Jim Crow era. Following protagonist Bigger Thomas through an impoverished life…

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Tananarive Due’s My Soul to Keep, rewrites the traditional vampire narrative, shifting away from a pale creature of the night to an African immortal scholar with recuperative abilities and an unending quest for knowledge. Following protagonist…

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The only novella published by famed Chicago poet Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha is a loosely autobiographical narrative of a black woman growing up in Bronzeville, the hub of the Chicago Renaissance. On the streets of Bronzeville, Brooks interacted…

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Fusing magical realism, folklore, and elements of speculative fiction, Mama Day is a story about the generations of African Americans born post-emancipation. Set in the Sea Islands off of the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, Mama Day pulls…

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Recognized as the first black woman to break into the genre, Octavia Butler forever altered the white, male-centric world of science fiction. Kindred follows Dana Franklin as she is thrown back and forth between 1976 and the nineteenth century…

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Best known as the author of the 1952 American classic Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison didn’t see most of his work published during his lifetime. Juneteenth was published as his second novel, following his death in 1994. Originally spanning over 2,000…

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James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” first appeared in 1957 in Partisan Review, a prominent literary magazine. “Sonny’s Blues” was reprinted in Going to Meet the Man among seven additional short stories by Baldwin. Utilizing a jazz motif,…

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Dreams from My Father recounts the earliest portion of President Barack Obama’s life from his childhood until he entered Harvard Law School. The memoir, praised by many authors and critics for its prose, captures Obama’s voice in his search for…
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