Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Whereas most students could claim a working knowledge of the Harlem Renaissance, they would likely look bewildered were one to ask them about the black Chicago Renaissance. This collection will help rectify that situation. Tracy (Univ. of Massachusetts) has marshaled an impressive group of established scholars, including Richard Yarborough, Alan Wald, and Maryemma Graham, who provide in-depth, focused coverage of the writers and issues that define African American literary production in midcentury Chicago. Tracy's editorial selections combine discussion of the canonical (Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, and Gwendolyn Brooks, for example) with the less canonical but important writers of this time, such as Frank London Brown, Fenton Johnson, and Margaret Walker. Tracy also includes essays on important cultural issues of the time, for example the Federal Theatre Project, the black press, and the Chicago School of Sociology. A final chapter, "Materials for Further Study," offers an impressive bibliography that will be useful for any scholar studying or teaching these writers. This volume is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the wide diversity of the black Chicago Renaissance and the writers that represent this underrepresented period in African American literary history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. D. E. Magill Longwood University
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Catches us up on the writers who shone in 1930-1950s Chicago, somewhat after the better-known Harlem Renaissance. Among them: Richard Wright and Lorraine Hansberry. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Now is the time, declares professor of Afro-American studies Tracy, to focus on the underappreciated Black Chicago Renaissance, a creative movement that was stoked by the Great Migration and flourished into the early 1960s. Overshadowed by the Harlem Renaissance and the Chicago Renaissance that included Theodore Dreiser, Edgar Lee Masters, and Carl Sandburg, this flowering took root in 1930s Chicago, a metropolis that was teeming with excitement, talent, and diversity, and engendered fruitful cross-pollination among writers, musicians, artists, dramatists, and journalists, all working with a sense of social imperatives. The movement's core writers Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Lorraine Hansberry have not been forgotten. But as this enlightening collection of 30 biographical and critical essays by American scholars establishes, these titans were surrounded by such fellow trailblazers as Marita Bonner, author of the catalytic essay, On Being Black a Woman and Colored; poet, reporter, and activist Frank Marshall Davis; writer and choreographer Katherine Dunham; the multitalented Gordon Parks; brilliant, revolutionary, trendsetting, and inspiring Margaret Walker; and the best-selling Frank Garvin Yerby. A vigorous and seminal reassessment of an essential chapter in American culture.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist