Colored Peopleby Henry Louis Gates Jr.
In a coming-of-age story as enchantingly vivid and ribald as anything Mark Twain or Zora Neale Hurston, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., recounts his childhood in the mill town of Piedmont, West Virginia, in the 1950s and 1960s and ushers readers into a gossip, of lye-and-mashed-potato “processes,” and of slyly stubborn resistance to the indignities of segregation.
A winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Award and the Lillian Smith Prize, Colored People is a pungent and poignant masterpiece of recollection, a work that extends and deepens our sense of African American history even as it entrances us with its bravura storytelling
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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- Random House
- NOOK Book
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- 2 MB
Meet the Author
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. The author of numerous books, including the widely acclaimed memoir Colored People, Professor Gates has also edited several anthologies and is coeditor with Kwame Anthony Appiah of Encarta Africana, an encyclopedia of the African Diaspora. An influential cultural critic, he is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and other publications and is the recipient of many honors, including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the National Humanities Medal.
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Gates weaves the tale of his childhood growing up in Piedmont, West Virginia during the 1950’s and 60’s a tumultuous time in American history. This coming of age story is framed beautifully with Gates’ simple prose and interesting story telling techniques. You really get to know the people in his life. Although we that is the author and myself, are a decade apart and I am a white woman who grew up in the 1970’s in Southeastern, Ohio our lives weren’t that much different in a lot of ways. There just aren’t that many differences growing in poverty no matter you skin color. The Gates perhaps unbeknownst to him did differ that much from his white counterparts in impoverished lands of West Virginia and Southeast, Ohio. We suffered and they suffered from a dying homeland with little opportunity, Gates got out. The Second half of the book loses my attention and admittedly had a hard time finishing it. I still recommend the book the POV of Gates is wonderful and deserves a look. Quick read for the most part.
Book Review: Colored People Recently for my English class I read the novel Colored People by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. I am 16 years old and I am a junior at Holt High School. I was just trying to find some book for silent reading when my English teacher suggested that I read this book. At first I was skeptical that it would be something I would be interested in, but as I read on I really enjoyed the book. Basically it is a memoir of his life from a child to a young adult, also with fast forwards to his present day life. It shows the struggles and triumphs that young black Americans had during the 1960s, 70s, and on. In his adolescent age he likes a girl, and as they grow older they see that they cannot be together because the society won't let them be together, he's black and she's white. The main characters are Henry, Mama, and Daddy. The memoir also includes many of Gates family members; uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. I recommend this book for a mature audience, as many young peoples/children wouldn't be interested enough to enjoy it. This is a very sophisticated book that is based on real life events. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was definitely the best book of this year that I have read, and most likely in the last couple of years also.
Not as interesting as I anticipated. It had the same problems that "Snow in Havana" had. The author interjected adult rationale and logic onto childhood experiences. The teenage years were much more interesting because they seemed more real and natural. There wasn't the arrogance of an adult point of view once he started writing about his teenage years.