Waiting in Line at the Drugstore and Other Writings of James Thomas Jackson

Overview

Jackson was a hard worker. He did construction work, house-painting, and other odd jobs, like sweeping out a neighborhood bar. He had to work hard to support his all-consuming habit - writing. Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times says that Thomas wrote "irregularly, idiosyncratically, entertainingly, personally and, above all, passionately.... His opinions, forceful but fair, were measured against a life that had never been easy but that had seemed to leave him, despite all, with a profound philosophical ...
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1993 Paperback New in new dust jacket. Sealed in plastic. As New Condition-Over 750, 000 Internet Orders Shipped.

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Denton, Texas, U.S.A. 1993 Soft Cover Not Indicated New Brand new book, still sealed in publisher's shrink wrap. From Library Journal A black man's struggles from the Thirties ... through the Seventies provide the focus for this collection of essays, articles, fiction, and poetry. Jackson died in 1985 before most of his writing could be published; this volume, with its accounts of army life during the early days of integration, shows the power and clarity that characterize his work. As a charter member of the Watts Writers Workshop, Jackson gained the attention and respect of Budd Schulberg for the stories of his childhood in Houston and his service in the army. A high school dropout, Jackson dedicated his life to writing, a habit that kept him in poverty; he worked at odd jobs until his death at age 59. This book, full of energy and conviction, is a timely and important addition to American writing. It reminds readers of discrimination's pain and of those caught in its terrible cruelty. -Nancy R. Ives, SUNY a Read more Show Less

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Overview

Jackson was a hard worker. He did construction work, house-painting, and other odd jobs, like sweeping out a neighborhood bar. He had to work hard to support his all-consuming habit - writing. Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times says that Thomas wrote "irregularly, idiosyncratically, entertainingly, personally and, above all, passionately.... His opinions, forceful but fair, were measured against a life that had never been easy but that had seemed to leave him, despite all, with a profound philosophical optimism that better days were coming." From a black perspective, Jackson's work forms a particular and important testimony, both positive and negative, about life in the United States from the 1930s through the 1970s, and about life in the Army during the 1950s. One of Thomas's friends, noted producer and playwright Ned Bobkoff, wrote upon learning of the publication of the collection: "There is an indelible connection between the Watt's Riots, the Rodney King incident - the outbreak of pain in L.A. - and the sudden renewed interest in James's work... The cycle is with us again. James had a real vision about time and place that may be the important contribution of his writing."
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A black man's struggles from the Thirties through the Seventies provide the focus for this collection of essays, articles, fiction, and poetry. Jackson died in 1985 before most of his writing could be published; this volume, with its accounts of army life during the early days of integration, shows the power and clarity that characterize his work. As a charter member of the Watts Writers Workshop, Jackson gained the attention and respect of Budd Schulberg for the stories of his childhood in Houston and his service in the army. A high school dropout, Jackson dedicated his life to writing, a habit that kept him in poverty; he worked at odd jobs until his death at age 59. This book, full of energy and conviction, is a timely and important addition to American writing. It reminds readers of discrimination's pain and of those caught in its terrible cruelty.-- Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780929398501
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Foreword
Introduction
Pt. I Essays and Articles
Waiting in Line at the Drugstore 3
Once Upon a Time in Houston 7
Of Roses and a Black Family's Unusual Visitor 11
Terry and Me 15
On Learning Values, and People 23
Juneteenth Was Freedom Day - A Long Time Ago 29
Hopeth All Things 32
In Search of Country 46
Wheel in the Midst of a Wheel 54
Once I Crossed the Rubicon 59
On Faith and Being "Born Again" 74
The Burning of the Books 78
Looking Back - and Ahead 85
Awakening to a Common Suffering - and Pride 89
My Africa - It is All This, and More 92
Black Friday: The Day Kennedy Was Shot 96
Welfare and the Single Man 104
Not a Bad Dude 111
Watts Workshop: From the Ashes 114
Some Notes on the Frederick Douglass Writers' House 120
Stars in a Black Night - Beacon for a Black Dawn 128
Ned Bobkoff and Me 133
Wadsworth 147
Pt. II Fiction and Poetry
Fiction (Chapters from the unpublished novel "Shade of Darkness")
Gasthaus 159
The Party 168
Reveille 176
Shade of Darkness 184
Caravansary 200
Corporal Willoughby's "Waw" 207
Heavyweight 219
Poetry
Jean 235
Blues for Black 237
Poem from the Temple of My Mind 240
Coda ... #1 244
Coda ... #2 246
Daybreak 247
Poem for Medgar Evers 250
The Breadwinner 253
Michael Powe: Epitaph to a Beautiful Person 255
Watts ... '68 257
Excerpts from Bye, Bye, Black Sheep (Play)
Act I, Scene 1 263
Act II, Scene 2 265
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