Month: January 2016

Terms of Oppression in William Apess and Hosea Easton

If you are at all interested in Native American or Early American literature, I would highly recommend reading Philip F. Gura’s biography of William Apess (Pequot). The Life of William Apess, Pequot chronicles Apess’s life based partly on Apess’s own writings but also on historical documents such as newspapers, correspondence, and other items. Gura takes all of this information and paints a portrait of … Read More Terms of Oppression in William Apess and Hosea Easton

Ira Aldridge’s "The Black Doctor"

James V. Hatch and Ted Shine’s two-volume Black Theatre USAhas graced my bookshelf for a few years. Occasionally, I pull one of the volumes down to read or reread a play. A couple of weeks ago, I pulled down volume one and read Ira Aldrige‘s translation of Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois’sLe Docteur Noir (1846). Aldridge’sĀ The Black Doctor (1846) contains differences from Anciet-Bourgeois’s original play and other … Read More Ira Aldridge’s "The Black Doctor"

Photography in Lyle Saxon’s "Children of Strangers" and Alice Walker’s "Everyday Use"

As I reread Lyle Saxon’s Children of StrangersĀ (1937) for the 2016 NEH Summer Institute “Ernest J. Gaines and the Southern Experience,” I couldn’t help but think about the idea of authenticity and reality when I came to the final section in the book. There, Flossie Smith, Adelaide Randolph’s friend, encounters the fallen Famie as she leaves Easter service with Henry Tyler. Upon first meeting … Read More Photography in Lyle Saxon’s "Children of Strangers" and Alice Walker’s "Everyday Use"

Langston Hughes’s "Home" and Ernest Hemingway

The word “home” carries connotations of safety, security, and family; however, for Roy Williams in Langston Hughes’s “Home” (1933),  his return to Missouri presents him with a confrontation that ultimately leads to his death at the hands of the white townspeople. Today, I want to look at Hughes’s story in relation to Ernest Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home” from In Our Time (1925). Both stories deal … Read More Langston Hughes’s "Home" and Ernest Hemingway

T. Geronimo Johnson’s "Welcome to Braggsville" and the Past

Reading 2015 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence winner T. Geronimo Johnson’s Welcome to Braggsville (2015), I noticed the continuous intersections between the histories of Native Americans and African Americans within this country, and specifically in regards to Georgia. These intersections are nothing new; Alice Walker incorporates them in The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970), and activists such as David Walker and … Read More T. Geronimo Johnson’s "Welcome to Braggsville" and the Past