Defining Ourselves: Black Writers in the 90s

Overview

Defining Ourselves offers perspectives on black literature in the 1990s by twenty-nine black writers and critics, including Paule Marshall, Amiri Baraka, John A. Williams, Ishmael Reed, Walter Mosley, Marita Golden, Thulani Davis, Jill Nelson, Arthur Flowers, Lorna Goodison, Bebe Moore Campbell, Brent Staples, Terry McMillan, Stanley Crouch, Houston A. Baker Jr., Barbara Christian, Karla FC Holloway, and William W. Cook. The essays in this book are based on papers presented at the Fourth National Black Writers ...
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Overview

Defining Ourselves offers perspectives on black literature in the 1990s by twenty-nine black writers and critics, including Paule Marshall, Amiri Baraka, John A. Williams, Ishmael Reed, Walter Mosley, Marita Golden, Thulani Davis, Jill Nelson, Arthur Flowers, Lorna Goodison, Bebe Moore Campbell, Brent Staples, Terry McMillan, Stanley Crouch, Houston A. Baker Jr., Barbara Christian, Karla FC Holloway, and William W. Cook. The essays in this book are based on papers presented at the Fourth National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, which focused on the question of whether or not black literature in the 90s is experiencing a renaissance to end all renaissances. In addition to this topic, this book addresses the issues of the universality of black literature, the changing tastes and concerns of black readers, and the politics of publishing.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Offers perspectives on black literature in the 1990s by 29 black writers and critics, including Paule Marshall, Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, and Thulani Davis. Essays are based on papers presented at the Fourth National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, which focused on the question of whether or not black literature in the 1990s is experiencing a renaissance. Subjects include changing tastes and concerns of black readers, and the politics of publishing. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820442617
  • Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

The National Black Writers Conference: Introduction 1
Opening Address: No Renaissance Without Our Editors and Publishers 9
Keynote Address: The Role of the Writer in Establishing a Unified Writers Organization 15
Keynote Address: Black Literature in the '90s: The Past as Prologue to "The New Wave" 25
Panel A1: Choosing Exile: Black Writers from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Arts Movement
Foreword 37
Exile: Taking Apart and Finding the Word 43
The Dubious Ecstasy of Exile 49
Choosing Exile: African Americans in Russia 55
Of Exiles and Renaissances 59
Panel A2: Choosing Exile: Black Writers from the Black Arts Movement to the 1990s
Foreword 65
Choosing Exile: The Publisher Situated in the Place of Exile 69
Choosing Exile: Black Women Writers from the Caribbean 75
All Icons Are Mine, Too 87
Not Exile, but Making a Life 91
Panel B1: Presuming the Universality of the Black Experience
Foreword 99
Fractals of a Grander Pattern 103
Contradictions in the Search for Authenticity 107
Troubling Questions about Universality 111
We Speak for Everybody (followed by Q & A) 117
Panel B2: Politically Correct in a Politically Incorrect World
Foreword 133
Politically Incorrect Struggles/Syndromes 137
Big Nommo: The Writer as Prophet 147
In Our Own Terms 155
"Fourth Renaissance" Art Is Muted Art 161
Correctly Colored 167
Panel C1: Black Literature: Who Are the Readers?
Foreword 175
Black Books Are Good for Business 179
What Is Reborn in a Renaissance? 187
The Importance of Writing for Black Male Readers 193
Who Declared the '90s a Black Literary Renaissance? 197
Panel C2: Black Literature: The Politics of Publishing
Foreword 205
Writing as a Means of Enabling Afrikan Self-Determination 209
The Challenges Facing Black Publishers in the '90s 213
Out on a Limb: A Black Publishing Experience 219
Editorial Considerations at the QBR: The Black Book Review 227
A Renaissance? Beware of the Backlash! 235
About the Contributors 239
About Medgar Evers College 249
About the Editors 251
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