Browse Items (27 total)

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Categorized as Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “dialect poems,” The Poems of Cabin and Field were written in an imagined black vernacular. Paired with staged photographs of plantation life, the poetry collection was one of the first publications to project a…

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On February 13, 1943, the fictional character Jesse B. Semple debuted as the protagonist of a new weekly column written by Langston Hughes. Known as Simple, Hughes crafted him to be emblematic of working class African Americans in the mid-20th…

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Jazz reverberates across the pages of Toni Morrison’s novels. Taking the techniques from this black musical tradition, rhythms, riffs, solos, and cadences emerge in Morrison’s prose as literary devices. The prose in Tar Baby is no exception. Caught…

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Originally published anonymously in 1912, this 1927 edition of The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man was the first to credit James Weldon Johnson as the author. Written during the nascent period of the Harlem Renaissance, the fictional…
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