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Erzulie_Danto

Good Harlem Renaissance Authors and their works, if you please?

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I'm looking for some good books or literary work from the Harlem Renaissance to read and I'm in desperate need of some help.

I've already read Zora Hurston's stuff. Same for Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison and Langston Hughes, along with a pretty good anthology called Ebony Rising. I don't know where else to start though.

Any more suggestions though?

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Hello All,

Erzulie: Did you come to the right place. *smile* A few authors to check out:

1.) Jessie Redmond Fauset - The Chinaberry Tree and Plum Bun. Novels about the hootie tootie bougy black folks.

2.) Wallace Thurman - Blacker the Berry and Infants of the Spring. Infants of the Spring, if you can get a copy of it, is Thurman's fictionalize account of all of the authors of the Harlem Renaissance.

3.) Jean Toomer - wrote what many consider the first novel of the Renaissance, Cane. A work that goes from poetry to short stories. Many have said that it is a novel. I don't know. It's kinda deep, but I consider it one of the best work of literature in the past century.

4.) Richard Bruce Nugent - Most of his works have been recently published during the past few years. Check out The Gay Rebel of the Renaissance.

5.) John Edward Bruce - The Black Sleuth, which is widely believed to be the first who-dun-it with a black detective ever written.

6.) Claude McKay - His most famous novel is Home to Harlem and If We Must Die.

7.) Arna Bonatemps - Black Thunder, a novel and Anyplace But Here, a non-fiction which recounts stories of the Great Migration of black folks from the South to the North.

8.) Dorothy West - The Living is Easy, which was the only published novel she wrote during the Renaissance. She went on to write The Wedding, which Oprah went and made into a TERRIBLE TV movie starring Halle Berry

9.) Nella Larsen - She wrote the novels, Quicksand and Passing. Passing has been somewhat of a hit and heavily published during the past 10-12 years now.

I have to correct you on a few authors that you mentioned in your post. Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright were not part of the Harlem Renaissance. Their works were published later. Richard Wright was highly critical of the authors of the Harlem Renaissance. His battle of words with Zora Neale Hurston is well known.

I hope I helped.

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Hello All,

Oh, I forgot to mention three anthologies that should be a big help to you: The Crisis Reader, The Messenger Reader, and The Opportunity Reader.

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Guest Erzulie_Danto

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Thumper. You get a steaming hot plate of e-cookies. :lol:

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Whoa on the Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright not being part of the Renaissance thing, though. Didn't know that. They were always bunched together with a bunch of other Renaissance folks in lessons so....My old English teacher needs to get fired. <_<

By the way, I know this isn't a Renaissance book either, but have you ever read The Spook Who Sat By the Door? The movie for it was very good, but the book is a BEAST.

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5.) John Edward Bruce - The Black Sleuth, which is widely believed to be the first who-dun-it with a black detective ever written.

I didn't know Bruce wrote a detective novel. He was an associate of early black nationalists like Alexander Crummell, Henry Highland Garnet, and Martin R. Delany -- although they were all old enough to be his father. Bruce and Arthur Schomburg started the Negro Society for Historical Research to showcase black scholarship. The collection they put together eventually formed the basis for the NYPL's Schomburg Center, which has Bruce's papers. They've got to have a copy of Black Sleuth. I'll check it out.

Thanks, Thumper.

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Whoa on the Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright not being part of the Renaissance thing, though. Didn't know that. They were always bunched together with a bunch of other Renaissance folks in lessons so....My old English teacher needs to get fired. <_<

By the way, I know this isn't a Renaissance book either, but have you ever read The Spook Who Sat By the Door? The movie for it was very good, but the book is a BEAST.

I have read The Spook Who sat By The Door a dozen times. I also saw the movie back inthe 70's. I was happy it came out on DVD.

LiLi

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I didn't know Bruce wrote a detective novel. He was an associate of early black nationalists like Alexander Crummell, Henry Highland Garnet, and Martin R. Delany -- although they were all old enough to be his father. Bruce and Arthur Schomburg started the Negro Society for Historical Research to showcase black scholarship. The collection they put together eventually formed the basis for the NYPL's Schomburg Center, which has Bruce's papers. They've got to have a copy of Black Sleuth. I'll check it out.

Thanks, Thumper.

Hello All,

Bookfan: I sure the Schomburg has a copy of The Black Sleuth. It was republished only a few years ago. It must still be in print, Amazon.ocm is still selling it. Let me know what you think. It's been years since I've read it. There is also another book title The Conjure Man Dies by Rudolf Fisher. Here, I must admit that I may have made a mistake and got The Conjure Man Dies and The Black Sleuth confused. The Black Sleuth was a serial published for a magazine that folded before the story was completed. The Black Sleuth is regarded as the first mystery featuring a black detective ever published in the US around the 1900s. The Conjure Man Dies is the first written by a Harlem Renaissance author and published during the Renaissance.

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Whoa on the Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright not being part of the Renaissance thing, though. Didn't know that. They were always bunched together with a bunch of other Renaissance folks in lessons so....My old English teacher needs to get fired. <_<

By the way, I know this isn't a Renaissance book either, but have you ever read The Spook Who Sat By the Door? The movie for it was very good, but the book is a BEAST.

Hello All,

Erzulie: Don't be too hard on your old English teacher. He/She is not the first one or the only one that gets the dates of the Harlem Renaissance wrong. There is a name for the period of AA literature that happened after the Renaissance and before the Black Nationalist Art Movement, which includes Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Ann Petry, Margaret Walker and Chester Himes and others, I can't for the life of me remember what it is.

I have read The Spook Who Sat By the Door. He reminded me of Quincy Jones for some reason.

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Also considered Harlem Renaissance figures were poets Countee Cullen and James Weldon Johnson, who wrote the lyrics to the Negro National Anthem which always gets a lot of play during Black History Month. Cullen was the prolific and premier poet of this era, winning many awards for his works.

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