Wild Women in the Whirlwind: Afra-American Culture and the Contemporary Literary Renaissance

Joanne M. Braxton, Other Rutgers University Press $38 (441p) ISBN 978-0-8135-1441-3
The cultural and literary achievements of black American women are examined and celebrated in some 20 enjoyable, erudite essays finds in Sojourner Truth an ``archetypal personage'' who fought battles that are still being waged today. Billie Jean Young recounts her development of a play about sharecropper's wife Fannie Lou Hamer, who in August 1962 joined 17 other blacks to register to vote in Mississippi. Daphne Duval Harrison focuses on Sippie Wallace, the ``Texas Nightingale,'' and her blues career, which peaked in the '20s. Barbara Smith, discussing black lesbians in fiction, analyzes fable-like elements in Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Nellie Y. McKay considers the nature of autobiography in reviewing the works of Zora Neale Hurston and Gwendolyn Brooks. Barbara Omolade calls for ``scholar-warrior-women'' to write their own history unfettered by Western tradition. Braxton is a professor of English at the College of William and Mary; McLaughlin, a professor of humanities at CUNY. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1989
Paperback - 470 pages - 978-0-8135-1442-0
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