Black American Short Stories

Black American Short Stories

One Hundred Years of the Best

Book - 1993
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Offers thirty-eight of the best Black American short stories.
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 1993.
ISBN: 9780374523541
0374523541
Branch Call Number: 808.83 B5612
Characteristics: xxi, 421 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Clarke, John Henrik 1915-1998.

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nftaussig Oct 13, 2011

John Henrik Clarke compiled short stories by 38 black American writers, each of whom is represented by one story. The stories, which were published between 1907 and 1990, are arranged in chronological order. Since the book is arranged chronologically rather than thematically, it does not flow. It is best read by dipping into it, contemplating what you have read, and returning to it once you have braced yourself for another story about America's ugly racial history.
Some highlights of this volume include "On Being Crazy" by W. E. B. DuBois, who ridicules the objections of whites to social equality;

"A Summer Tragegy" by Arna Bontemps about an elderly couple faced with her blindness and his frailty;

"The Gilded Six-Bits" by Zora Neale Hurston about the reaction of a young couple to a man who appears to be wealthy;

"The Boy Who Painted Christ Black" by John Henrik Clarke about the differing reactions of the black and white communities when a young black student represents Jesus Christ as a black man;

"The Homecoming" by Frank Yerby about a soldier who loses his fear of whites after fighting abroad during World War II;

"Solo on the Drums" by Ann Petry, who describes how a jazz drummer channels his anger about being jilted into his music;

"See How They Run" by Mary Elizabeth Vroman about a schoolteacher who realizes that one of her students is coming to school hungry;

"Reena" by Paule Marshall, who describes the compromises a highly capable friend has had to make since she is black.

A somewhat stronger anthology covering stories from the same time period is The Best Short Stories by Black American Writers: 1899 - 1967, which was edited by Langston Hughes.

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nftaussig Oct 14, 2011

nftaussig thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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nftaussig Oct 27, 2011

This anthology consists of 38 short stories by black American writers compiled by John Henrik Clarke, an introduction by Clarke, and capsule biographies of the authors. Each author is represented by one story. Of the stories, 31 were included in the original (1963) edition. The authors include Maya Angelou, W. E. B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, and Richard Wright.

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