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Harlem's Glory: Black Women Writing, 1900-1950 written by Lorraine E. Roses

 

Harlem's Glory: Black Women Writing, 1900-1950 written by Lorraine E. Roses

Overview:

In poems, stories, memoirs, and essays about color and culture, prejudice and love, and feminine trials, dozens of African-American women writers—some famous, many just discovered—give us a sense of a distinct inner voice and an engagement with their larger double culture. Harlem's Glory unfolds a rich tradition of writing by African-American women, hitherto mostly hidden, in the first half of the twentieth century. In historical context, with special emphasis on matters of race and gender, are the words of luminaries like Zora Neale Hurston and Georgia Douglas Johnson as well as rare, previously unpublished writings by figures like Angelina Weld Grimké, Elise Johnson McDougald, and Regina Andrews, all culled from archives and arcane magazines.

Editors Lorraine Elena Roses and Ruth Elizabeth Randolph arrange their selections to reveal not just the little-suspected extent of black women's writing, but its prodigious existence beyond the cultural confines of New York City. Harlem's Glory also shows how literary creativity often coexisted with social activism in the works of African-American women.

This volume is full of surprises about the power and diversity of the writers and genres. The depth, the wit, and the reach of the selections are astonishing. With its wealth of discoveries and rediscoveries, and its new slant on the familiar, all elegantly presented and deftly edited, the book will compel a reassessment of writing by African-American women and its place in twentieth-century American literary and historical culture.

Synopsis:

In poems, stories, memoirs, and essays about color and culture, prejudice and love, and feminine trials, dozens of African-American women writers—some famous, many just discovered—give us a sense of a distinct inner voice and an engagement with their larger double culture. Harlem's Glory unfolds a rich tradition of writing by African-American women, hitherto mostly hidden, in the first half of the twentieth century. In historical context, with special emphasis on matters of race and gender, are the words of luminaries like Zora Neale Hurston and Georgia Douglas Johnson as well as rare, previously unpublished writings by figures like Angelina Weld Grimké, Elise Johnson McDougald, and Regina Andrews, all culled from archives and arcane magazines.

Editors Lorraine Elena Roses and Ruth Elizabeth Randolph arrange their selections to reveal not just the little-suspected extent of black women's writing, but its prodigious existence beyond the cultural confines of New York City. Harlem's Glory also shows how literary creativity often coexisted with social activism in the works of African-American women.

This volume is full of surprises about the power and diversity of the writers and genres. The depth, the wit, and the reach of the selections are astonishing. With its wealth of discoveries and rediscoveries, and its new slant on the familiar, all elegantly presented and deftly edited, the book will compel a reassessment of writing by African-American women and its place in twentieth-century American literary and historical culture.

Publishers Weekly

This book is a treasure. It is an incredibly rich amalgam of prose, poetry, non-fiction and fiction that readers will adore, with unifying commentary, footnotes and illustrated biographies that scholars will respect. It includes rare things, unpublished manuscripts, the words of self-educated women and the collective memory of their men and children. The authors (who also collaborated on Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: Literary Biographies of 100 Black Women Writers, 1900-1945) opted not to evaluate the pieces for "quality," but instead chose those that struck them as "vivid and memorable," and as contributing to the project overall. The result is a collection of great diversity that still speaks fully to the African American experience of racial hypocrisy and unity, of solidarity between black women and white, of the intellectual lives of those who've had a book in hand but no bread on the table. Every reader will have several favorites. Zora Neale Hurston and Dorothy West are here, but so are Nat Turner's granddaughter and a woman who worked her way around the world as a domestic. Roses, director of Latin American studies at Wellesley, and Randolph, an independent scholar, have also provided a context in which the work of all black writers of the period, but especially women, can be viewed as part of a rich tradition rather than a short-lived fluke of history in a crowded corner of one northern city. (Oct.)

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Title: Harlem's Glory: Black Women Writing, 1900-1950

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