African American autobiographers: a sourcebook by Emmanuel S. Nelson

By Emmanuel S. Nelson

There's turning out to be well known and scholarly curiosity in autobiography, in addition to expanding regard for the achievements of African American writers. the 1st reference of its variety, this quantity chronicles the autobiographical culture in African American literature. integrated are alphabetically prepared entries for sixty six African American authors who current autobiographical fabric of their works. the quantity profiles significant figures, comparable to Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X, in addition to many lesser identified autobiographers who deserve larger awareness. whereas a few are recognized basically for his or her literary accomplishments, others have won popularity of their assorted contributions to society.The entries are written by means of professional members and supply authoritative information regarding their matters. every one starts off with a concise biography, which summarizes the lifestyles and achievements of the autobiographer. this can be by means of a dialogue of significant autobiographical works and topics, in addition to an summary of the autobiographer's serious reception. The entries shut with fundamental and secondary bibliographies, and a specific, basic bibliography concludes the amount. jointly, the entries supply a close portrait of the African American autobiographical culture from the 18th century to the current.

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Therefore, her narratives convey a message of survival for African American people to rise above poverty, prejudice, and lack of power.  In 1993, a selection of essays titled Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now was published, followed in 1997 by Even the Stars Look Lonesome, another selection of essays.  Recently, she coauthored and cohosted a series of documentaries with her son Guy Johnson, titled Maya Angelou’s America: A Journey of the Heart.  For future generations, her literary contributions will remain an eloquent reminder that “we are more alike…than we are unalike” (Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now 124).

In order to understand his works, one must examine his autobiographical essays.  In “The Problem of Identity in Selected Early Essays of James Baldwin,” critic Jocelyn Jackson interprets the opening “Autobiographic Notes” as Baldwin’s “Credo” (253).  “Carmen Jones: The Dark Is Light Enough’’ expresses Baldwin’s contempt for the Hollywood production of Carmen Jones, which he feels exploited the black cast (Notes 46–54).  He would continue throughout his career to link his personal reality with the reality of all humanity (Porter 23–24).

In Bloom, Maya Angelou 173–80.  in Bloom, Maya Angelou 25–40.  in Bloom, Maya Angelou 191–218.  in Bloom, Maya Angelou 41–54.  30.  Southern Literary Journal (December 1981): 88. 9 (July 1975): 52, 61. ” Genre 16 (1995): 183–91.  in Bloom, Maya Angelou 75–90. 4 (October 1991): 1–11. 1 (1980): 24–31. 3 (1975): 81–96.  New York: Chelsea House, 1994.  Indianapolis, IN: Odyssey, 1968.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1991.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett Press, 1990.  in Bloom, Maya Angelou 3–14.

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