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Research Guides

ENGL/AFST 393.500: James Baldwin and Others-Prof. Mikko Tuhkanen (Fall 2020)

Welcome

This guide will introduce you to some of the best library and web resources related to this course. If you have suggestions for how to improve this guide please contact Rebecca Hankins.  Please feel free to leave your comments and additions. Enjoy!

Books of Interest

James Baldwin - Early Novels and Stories

Here, in a Library of America volume edited by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, is the fiction that established James Baldwin's reputation as a writer who fused unblinking realism and rare verbal eloquence.

Giovanni's Room

James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

With startling realism that brings  Harlem and the black experience vividly to life,  This is a work that touches the heart with emotion while it stimulates the mind with its narrative style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism in America. Moving through time from the rural  South to the northern ghetto, starkly contrasting the attitudes of two generations of an embattles family, Go Tell It On The Mountain is an unsurpassed portrayal of human beings caught up in a dramatic struggle and of a society confronting inevitable change. 

James Baldwin: the Last Interview

I was not born to be what someone said I was. I was not born to be defined by someone else, but by myself, and myself only.' James Baldwin lived by that creed. When, in the fall of 1987, the poet Quincy Troupe travelled to the south of France to interview a critically ill James Baldwin, they knew it was his last chance to speak at length about his life and work. The result is one of the most eloquent and revelatory interviews of Baldwin's career, ranging widely over his youth in Harlem, his friendship with Miles Davis and Toni Morrison and his thoughts on race.'

A Tribute to James Baldwin

The "Black Writers Redefine the Struggle: A Tribute to James Baldwin" Conference held on April 22-23, 1988 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Originally, the conference would assess where black writing, black struggle for full articulation, liberation, and recognition stood at its time and what its prospects and priorities might be. Before the Conference, however, Baldwin succumbed to cancer. The Conference went on and was retitled as a tribute to James Baldwin and focused on his impact on Black writing. Throughout the Conference are extraordinary readings in several genres and voices by Chinua Achebe, Irma McClaurin-Allen, Andrew Salkey, Michael Thelwell, and John Edgar Wideman.

Black Metropolis by St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton

Black Metropolis remains a landmark study of race and urban life. Based on a mass of research conducted by Works Progress Administration field workers in the late 1930s, it is a historical and sociological account of the people of Chicago's South Side, the classic urban ghetto. Drake and Cayton's findings not only offer a generalized analysis of black migration, settlement, community structure, and black-white race relations in the early part of the twentieth century, but also tell us what has changed in the last hundred years and what has not. 

Black Power by Richard Wright

Originally published in 1954, Richard Wright′s Black Power is an impassioned chronicle of the author′s trip to Africa′s Gold Coast before it became the free nation of Ghana. It speaks eloquently of empowerment and possibility and resonates loudly to this day. 

Native Son by Richard Wright

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

The Hills of Hebron by Sylvia Wynter

Written in the late 1950s on the cusp of Jamaica's independence from Britain, The Hills of Hebron tells the story of a group of formerly enslaved Jamaicans as they attempt to create a new life and assert themselves against the colonial power. Based on the early twentieth century Bedwardism movement (a revivalist group led by Alexander Bedward), The Hills of Hebron, was one of the first attempts to present the lives of black Jamaicans not as colonial subjects, but as independent human beings. " "

LGBTQ+ History Collections and Support in Evans & Cushing