Long Black Song: Essays in Black American Literature and Culture / Edition 1

Long Black Song: Essays in Black American Literature and Culture / Edition 1

by Houston A. Baker Jr.
ISBN-10:
0813913012
ISBN-13:
9780813913018
Pub. Date:
10/29/1990
Publisher:
University of Virginia Press

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Overview

Long Black Song: Essays in Black American Literature and Culture / Edition 1

Houston Baker maintains that black American culture, grounded in a unique historical experience, is distinct from any other, and that it has produced a body of literature that is equally and demonstrably unique in its sources, values, and modes of expression. He argues that black American literature is rooted in black folklore- animal tales, trickster slave tales, religious tales, folk songs, spirituals, and ballads- and that a knowledge of this tradition is essential to the understanding of any individual black author or work. To deomonstrate the continuity of this tradition, Baker examines themes that appear in folklore and persist throughout contemporary black literature. "Freedom and Apocalypse," for example, traces the idea that black Americans are a chosen people who will, by some violent means, overthrow the white man's tyranny.

The essays culminate in an examination of the life and work of Richard Wright. Baker's treatment of Wright as a black American artist who recorded the black man's shift from an agrarian to an urban setting places Wright and the tradition of black literature and culture in a fresh perspective.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813913018
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Publication date: 10/29/1990
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 156
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.50(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Houston A. Baker, Jr. is Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the editor of Black Literature in America and Twentieth Century Interpretations of Native Son.

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