Black & White in American Culture: An Anthology from the Massachusetts Review

Black & White in American Culture: An Anthology from the Massachusetts Review

Black & White in American Culture: An Anthology from the Massachusetts Review

Black & White in American Culture: An Anthology from the Massachusetts Review

Synopsis

A collection of short fiction and non-fiction works reflecting black and white attitudes, talents, and traditions.

Excerpt

The Massachusetts Review is a quarterly of literature, the arts, and public affairs, published independently with the cooperation and support of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts. Its first number appeared in the fall of 1959, with F. C. Ellert as editor and Sidney Kaplan as managing editor. In 1961 Sidney Kaplan became co-editor. Since 1963, the Journal has been under the editorship of Jules Chametzky and John H. Hicks. Francis Murphy was a co-editor, 1965-1967.

This gathering of some forty pieces by writers black and white is drawn from the fiction, poetry, reportage, debate, document, essays (on literature, history, politics, society, music, and art) that have appeared in The Massachusetts Review between 1959 and 1969. All focus on the chiaroscuro of American life and thought, and reflect a decade very likely more decisive to our culture than any since the Civil War.

Because the book has its focus, unless it bore directly on the subject not everything published in MR by black artists and scholars was included. Nor does it include all book reviews, all matters bearing on black life in other countries, or every good special study (in these categories are fine essays by Henry Nash Smith on Pudd'nhead Wilson, Chadwick Hansen on Jim in Huckleberry Finn, Melvin Seiden on the Negro in Absalom, Absalom!, Mina Curtiss on Negroes in Russia). We regret all these and other omissions, but to have included everything would have resulted in a leviathan of a book.

When MR began, the sit-in by four black freshmen at a lunch counter in South Carolina that would open a new chapter in the Movement was still a few months away, and the demand for black studies that is today shaking the walls of Academe was scarcely to be foreseen. Like everyone else in this decade, we have been making discoveries about ourselves and our culture. Chief among these, for us, is that every aspect of the culture is touched by the "special . . .

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