Monday, February 16, 2009

In Their Own Words: A Celebration of African-American Authors.

Hello! In honor of Black History Month, I've spent this morning putting together a display of books by African-American authors. It's located on the second floor of the library next to the front stairs.

I've tried to assemble a representative sampling of some of the biggest names in African American literature (Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, Pearl Cleage and Langston Hughes), as well as some newer authors such as Eric Jerome Dickey and Nathan McCall.

I've also included some videos, such as Stephen Spielberg's famous movie adaptation of Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. Some literary criticism and some biographies of the authors are there as well. There are even some children's books, including Tom Feeling's illustrated poetry book Soul Looks Back in Wonder, which won the 1994 Coretta Scott King award from the American Library Association. Ms. King's memoir My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. is there, along with some of her husband's collected writings and speeches.

It would be impossible to collect all the great works by African-American writers in one place, and I've barely scratched the surface. I'd welcome any feedback or suggestions for the display. I invite everyone to come and look at it, and check out a book or a video. Let's honor these writers of the past and present by reading the words they have left us. They may teach, they may inspire, they may simply entertain, but their voices combined speak of their experiences. They have stories to tell: in their own words.

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