Black Ink: Literary Legends on the Perils, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing

An expertly selected and edited sampler that features 25 of the best black writers to work in the U.S., Black Ink is also a chronological portrait of the conscious development of black literature in the U.S. by black writers, editors and critics. This is the third anthology by editor and writer Stephanie Stokes Oliver (Song for My Father), with an introduction by poet Nikki Giovanni.

Black Ink is the sort of book that opens doors to other books. Many of these pieces are tantalizing excerpts of longer works, and each is preceded by a brief biography of the author. Oliver has organized them into three sections: The Peril (19th century), The Power (1900-1968) and The Pleasure (1968-2018). The earliest pieces, beginning with Frederick Douglass, often deal with the authors' determined and dangerous pursuit of education, ending with W.E.B. Du Bois's 1913 survey of black literature. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Marlon James and Jamaica Kincaid offer their perspectives on living both outside and inside the U.S. Many anecdotes feature supportive and inspiring teachers, as well as the thrill of success. Others describe the limitations imposed by having to please and placate white publishers, critics and teachers, and by the expectation that they always "write about the Race Problem." Authors discuss their reading and writing, what makes a classic, poetry, slave narratives and children's literature, and what it is to become themselves. As Henry Louis Gates Jr. writes: "These texts reveal the human universal through the African American particular." Black Ink is a first-rate introduction to some of the best in African American literary culture. --Sara Catterall

Powered by: Xtenit