African-American literature is as old as American literature. This week, to help celebrate Black History Month, we'd like you to blog about your favorite work of black literature. From Phyllis Wheatley through Frederick Douglass, from the Harlem Renaissance to Maya Angelou, Ishmael Reed, and Toni Morrison, there's a huge list to choose from. If you can pick just one, please let us in on your favorite. Please tag your blog post favorite work of African-American literature.
"I AM READY TO ACT, IF I CAN FIND BRAVE MEN TO HELP ME."–Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D. (1875-1950), author and activist, known as the Father of Black History. Dr. Woodson found those brave men and women, working with every famous African-American figure of the first half of the 20th century to study history and work towards a more just society. He founded the Journal of African-American Studies in 1916, and it has never missed an issue. The hundreds of African-American interest books on Red Room remind us of the vital literary legacy black voices have given to the United States and the world.
A few bloggers will receive books by Red Room authors:
Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale was more than just a bestselling novel-its publication was a watershed moment in literary history. McMillan's sassy and vibrant story about four African American women struggling to find love and their place in the world touched a cultural nerve, inspired a blockbuster film. Now Terry returns with Getting to Happy, revisiting Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin fifteen years later. Each is at her own midlife crossroads, but they return to us full of spirit, sass, and faith in one another.
"Smart, grounded, and lyrical, Evie Shockley's the new black integrates powerful ideas about "blackness," past and present, through the medium of beautifully crafted verse." Her poems "move through nostalgia, even as they insist on being alive to the present and point longingly towards possible futures.
Dolen Perkins-Valdez's debut, Wench (just released in paperback) is about a beautiful, inviting house surrounded by a dozen private cottages—a resort is favored by wealthy Southern white men who vacation there, accompanied by their enslaved mistresses. The story explores the complexities of the sexual relationships that existed between slave women and white men.
So post a blog entry today about Red Room's topic of the week
"favorite work of African-American literature"
For help on how to blog, please see the directions here. We'll choose one of these blog posts to be featured on Red Room's homepage next week. Post your entry by Friday at 10:30 a.m. PST (GMT-08:00) for consideration, and be sure to tag it with the keyword term "favorite work of African-American literature" in the Blog Keyword Tags field so we can find it. (Please don't forget the exact tag. For more information about tags, click here.)
Thanks as always for blogging!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room