On Being Female, Black and Free: Essays by Margaret Walker, 1932-1992

Overview

These highly personal essays, written over the course of six decades, reveal the woman as well as the artist, capturing the independent creative spirit of this literary icon. In accessible and stirring prose, Walker speaks directly about her own experiences - such as growing up in a deeply religious home, living in the Jim Crow South, marrying and raising a family, and becoming a civil rights activist. These essays also offer Walker's critical perspectives on a wide range of topics, from the role of the black ...
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Overview

These highly personal essays, written over the course of six decades, reveal the woman as well as the artist, capturing the independent creative spirit of this literary icon. In accessible and stirring prose, Walker speaks directly about her own experiences - such as growing up in a deeply religious home, living in the Jim Crow South, marrying and raising a family, and becoming a civil rights activist. These essays also offer Walker's critical perspectives on a wide range of topics, from the role of the black woman artist to the distinctiveness of African American cultural life and to the importance of education in the fight for political change. Maryemma Graham's introduction provides a historical context for the essays, placing Walker's work within the African American literary canon. Walker reflects on the numerous poets and writers she has known over the years, including Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Richard Wright. A work of broad general appeal, On Being Female, Black, and Free offers a powerful introduction to the work of an essential American literary figure.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
At 82, Walker (Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature, LJ 1/90) is one of the most important African American writers at work today, having first achieved literary prominence in 1942, when she won an award for a collection of poems she penned called For My People. These essays represent six decades of Walker's personal and political life. Beginning with the personal, she speaks mostly of her experiences as a black female, writer, and teacher and of her search for freedom. From a political standpoint she focuses on the evolution of black women writers, black culture, Mississippi and politics, and education and revolution. Walker also replays well-known historical facts of black history and the Civil Rights movement, which could have been left out. She's at her best, though, when she's waxing philosophical, reflecting on the many facets of her life and timeswhich one hopes she'll continue in her upcoming autobiography. Worth considering for African American and literature collections.Ann Burns, "Library Journal"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870499814
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Biographical Note
On Being Female, Black, and Free 1980 3
My Creative Adventure 1974 12
The Writer and Her Craft 1974 22
Their Place on the Stage 1988 26
Chief Worshippers at All World Altars 1975 29
Phillis Wheatley and Black Women Writers, 1773-1973 1973 35
Reflections on Black Women Writers 1938 41
Symbol, Myth, and Legend: Folk Elements in African American Literature 1976 57
Black Culture 1976 64
Southern Black Culture 1976 79
Agenda for Action: Black Arts and Letters 1972 86
Humanities with a Black Focus 1972 98
Of Tennessee and the River 1986 108
Natchez and Richard Wright in Southern American Literature 1990 118
Critical Approaches to the Study of African American Literature 1968 123
On Money, Race, and Politics 1984 135
On the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi 1989 140
Mississippi and the Nation 1980 145
Jesse Jackson, the Man and His Message 1988 151
Whose "Boy" Is This? 1992 162
What Is to Become of Us? 1932 171
Reflections on May 1970: The Jackson State University Massacre 1972 177
The Challenge of the 1970s to the Black Scholar 1969 183
Education in the Global Village 1992 189
Tribute to Black Teachers 1975 192
Moral Education: Who Is Responsible? 1983 198
Religion, Poetry, and History: Foundations for a New Educational System 1968 208
Revolution and the University 1969 218
World Pluralism: The Human Encounter 1976 226
Epilogue: Race, Gender, and the Law 1992 232
Bibliography 237
Index 239
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