Arguably the greatest African-American poet of the century, Sterling Brown was instrumental in bringing the traditions of African-American folk life to readers all over the world. This is the definitive collection of Brown's poems, and the only edition available in the U.S.
A Son's Return: Selected Essays of Sterling A. Brown (Northeastern Library of Black Literature)
This selection of the writings of the influential African American critic and poet Sterling A. Brown (1901-1989) demonstrates his critical acumen and commitment to inclusive politics. The book contains three groupings of essays, focusing in turn on African American political issues, literature, and music, and concludes with a selection of Brown's literature and film reviews. These writings consistently point out the biases against black Americans in white cultural expression and argue for a recognition of the cultural contributions of African Americans.
Sterling A. Brown: Building the Black Aesthetic Tradition
Sterling A. Brown's achievement and influence in the field of American literature and culture are unquestionably significant. His poetry has been translated into Spanish, French, German, and Russian and has been read in literary circles throughout the world. He is also one of the principal architects of black criticism. His critical essays and books are seminal works that give an insider's perspective of literature by and about blacks. Leopold Sedar Senghor, who became familiar with Brown's poetry and criticism in the 1920s and 1930s, called him "an original militant of Negritude, a precursor of our movement." Yet Joanne V. Gabbin's book, originally published in 1985, remains the only study of Brown's work and influence. Gabbin sketches Brown's life, drawing on personal interviews and viewing his achievements as a poet, critic, and cultural griot. She analyzes in depth the formal and thematic qualities of his poetry, revealing his subtle adaptation of song forms, especially the blues. To articulate the aesthetic principles Brown recognized in the writings of black authors, Gabbin explores his identification of the various elements that have come together to create American culture.
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Using oral history and the printed word, Sterling A. Brown set out during the Second World War to capture the response of African Americans, primarily living in the South, to America's involvement in the war and how it affected them. These responses, brought together in extended, non-fiction essays of many different types, illustrate the diversity of opinions in the Black South about the war and the war period in America. For nearly sixty years, the excerpts that were never published languished in Brown's manuscript collection at Howard University. Now, for the first time, all of the completed pieces of unpublished writings are combined with the few published sections into the book that Brown envisioned. The legacy Brown left us is not only a superb portrait of the way in which African Americans of the mid-century talked and lived; he also provided a methodology that oral and written historians will find extremely useful. This is clearly a document from another time, as its now outdated title reminds us, but it reveals a world that still informs our sense of ourselves as a nation. In fact, it is an unforgettable history, which Brown has cast in a bright, elucidating new light.
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Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry
Black Nature is the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that until now has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated.Black poets have a long tradition of incorporating treatments of the natural world into their work, but it is often read as political, historical, or protest poetry―anything but nature poetry. This is particularly true when the definition of what constitutes nature writing is limited to work about the pastoral or the wild.Camille T. Dungy has selected 180 poems from 93 poets that provide unique perspectives on American social and literary history to broaden our concept of nature poetry and African American poetics. This collection features major writers such as Phillis Wheatley, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, Robert Hayden, Wanda Coleman, Natasha Trethewey, and Melvin B. Tolson as well as newer talents such as Douglas Kearney, Major Jackson, and Janice Harrington. Included are poets writing out of slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century African American poetic movements.Black Nature brings to the fore a neglected and vital means of considering poetry by African Americans and nature-related poetry as a whole.A Friends Fund Publication.
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