By Werner Sollors
Werner Sollors’ African American Writing takes a clean examine what was referred to as “Negro literature.” The essays accrued the following, ranging in subject from Gustavus Vassa/Olaudah Equiano to LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, and in time from the Enlightenment to the Obama presidency, take a literary method of black writing and current writers as readers and as intellectuals who have been or are open to the world.
From W.E.B. Du Bois commenting on Richard Wagner and Elvis Presley, to Zora Neale Hurston attacking Brown v. Board of Ed. in a segregationist newspaper, to Charles Chesnutt’s effigy darkened for the black background postage stamp, Sollors alternates among shut readings and broader cultural contextualizations to delineate some of the aesthetic modes and highbrow exchanges that formed a chain of outstanding literary works.
Readers will make often-surprising discoveries within the authors’ writing and of their encounters and dialogues with others. The essays, followed by means of Winold Reiss’s pastels, Carl Van Vechten’s images, and different snap shots, try to honor this significant literature’s fulfillment, heterogeneity, and creativity.
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