Testimony: Young African-Americans on Self-Discovery and Black Identity / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $48.49   
  • Used (25) from $1.99   


Black youth, particularly college-educated youth, are the supposed inheritors of the civil rights struggles. Although symbols of victory for the generation that came befpre them, they are actively engaged in a new struggle—one for their own identities.

In Testimony, Black students across the country express their generation's shared experiences—from racism in school to the politics of hair. One student considers the dynamics between Black men and women as he explores his own relationships; another writes of ther decision to attend a women's college, and the importance of women role models in her development. Through their compelling poetry and prose, these student writers claim identities from fragmented lives, embrace themselves, and resurrect their spirits.

Black youth, particularly college-educated youth, are the supposed inheritors of the civil-rights struggles. Today many of this new generation are engaged in a new struggle--for their own identities. In Testimony black students across the country express their own understandings of their generation's shared experiences--from racism in school to the politics of hair.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What a quiet explosion of intellect, passion, and love. I say. Welcome. And Yeah." —Sonia Sanchez
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this collection, young black writers, primarily recent college graduates like editor Tarpley (of Harvard), offer poetry and essays on subjects personal, political and cultural. Though several are self-indulgent or pretentious, most should speak to the authors' peers. As with many young writers, especially those bearing the brunt of racism, grievances-about prejudice, inequality and ghetto pain-dominate. The topics of love, family and friends generate more nuanced pieces, including Paitra Russell's criticism of sexist black men: ``I am you: black, strong, and determined, but infinitely tired.'' The section on education includes Tour's thoughtful account of his struggle for identity on campus: ``We share a history but react individually.'' Hip-hop tales and debates dominate the section on art and aesthetics, unfortunately hinting that black college students don't look beyond the beat. Better are reflections like Faith Adiele's first exposure to the Jackson Five and John Frazier's thoughts on being black and gay. A final section mixes some loopiness-Cecil Gray's Afrocentric paradigms-with wiser words from Jelani Cobb Jr., on the intersection of black pop culture and politics, and Samuel Frederick Reynolds on the anti-ideological legacy of Malcolm X. (Jan.)
Journalists, novelists, and students discuss personal encounters with racism, relationships, education, art, revolution, and cultural identity in this anthology of some 40 young Black writers. Lacks an index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807009291
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 307
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader
Introduction: On Giving Testimony, or the Processes of Becoming 1
Pt. 1 A Spell of Finding: Beginning the Journey 11
A Spell of Finding 13
The Ones Who Stole the Night 14
Malik's Brother Died in 1963 16
The Fire This Time 18
Livin' Just Enough for the City 26
In Remembrance Of 31
Memoirs after Surviving Well 35
Untitled 39
visitations 40
Pt. 2 The Preserving: Family and Friends 43
Mississippi Midwife 45
The Preserving 46
uncle Tall twin 48
To Set upon a Shelf 50
Questions I Have Not Asked My Mother 59
Yearning 61
the trio 65
Letters to My Sister 70
For My Sister 76
the wind still breezes your name 81
Pt. 3 In Love and Trouble 85
we sit on the stairs sometimes 87
Obsessive Love 89
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall 93
Why a Black Woman Could Never Be President 98
Shades of Grief: The Plight of a Battered Woman 101
When Words Contradict Actions 104
A Liar in Love 109
Slow Dance 116
Pt. 4 The Eyes of Seers: Educating and Re-educating Ourselves 117
To Phillis Wheatley 119
Southern University, 1962 127
From White to Black Campus 129
Eastley Echoes (excerpt) 133
White Friends 137
Untitled 138
Half Gold, Half Black: Thai Journals, 1979-80 (excerpts) 141
Accent 149
Field Trip 155
Pt. 5 You Ask Me What Hip Hop Is: Art and Aesthetics 157
Billie's Blue 159
You Ask Me What Hip Hop Is 160
The Battle 163
This Poem 179
Hazy Shade of Revolutionary 182
Pimp 4 Life 188
Pt. 6 Coming into Myself: Establishing Black Identity 195
Untitled 197
ABC 198
Coming into Myself 202
Living Out Loud 206
How It Was for Me 210
Becoming the Third Wave 215
Pt. 7 MOVE: Revolution and Solution 219
Youth 221
For All the "Think-They-Conscious" Writers 222
2,190 Days in the Life of a B-Boy: A Freestyle Chronicle of a Culture 224
The Darker the Berry 231
The Straight and Narrow 236
Nia Song 242
On Generation X 243
African-Based/African-Centered African Females and Males: Messengers and Manifestations of MA'AT 248
X1 (unknown) 259
Contributors 263
Credits 271
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)