In a Minor Chord: Three Afro-American Writers and Their Search for Identity

In a Minor Chord: Three Afro-American Writers and Their Search for Identity

In a Minor Chord: Three Afro-American Writers and Their Search for Identity

In a Minor Chord: Three Afro-American Writers and Their Search for Identity

Synopsis

In the midst of new estimations of Afro-American writers Darwin Turner's book is a landmark. In this brief but comprehensive introduction to the works of three black writers- Jean Toomer, Countee Cullen, and Zora Neale Hurston- he discusses the difficulties experienced by black writers not only in predominantly white society but also among blacks. His analysis of their careers and of their major works provides valuable insights into the state of black writing.

Excerpt

Darwin Turner's brief but vital and thought-crammed Introduction to his study of three Afro-American authors, which follows this preface, deals with the difficulties of black writers not only among whites but among their own people: the latter often criticize such authors either for writing about the wrong kind of blacks, or for writing about blacks in the wrong way, or for being Uncle Toms. This situation is not really unnatural, given the confused conditions of our culture, and with the help of vigorously dedicated men and women of all shades of color we may one day -- and soon, too -- come to a fuller understanding of the realities involved, and so we may find a way of correcting various errors.

The black-and-white "dialogue" which has gone on so intensely for several years now may in a little while do much to help many of our social and literary misunderstandings and oppositions. One of the good things which has emerged from the recent "dialogue" is the upgrading of various Afro-American writers by white readers.

Professor Turner in his Introduction refers to the awarding of various prizes to recent Afro-American writers, but the acceptance of black authors has gone beyond that. Colleges have courses in black literature, and anthologies of black poets thrive, hardbound and paperback. Perspectives are being adjusted.

It wasn't like this in "the old times." Then, the offi-

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