Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review of "African-American Classics: Great Stories and Poems From America’s Earliest Black Writers," by W. E. B. Dubois et. al.

Review of
African-American Classics: Great Stories and Poems From America’s Earliest Black Writers, by W. E. B. Dubois et. al. ISBN 9780982563045

Five out of five stars
 While some of the authors were people I recognized, the rest were unfamiliar to me, pointing out one of the two main points of value to this graphic novel. The first is that it is a way to introduce people to the writings of the well known African-American writers at the earliest point when it began to be a genre. The writings are superb and their legacy needs to be maintained for their historical and cultural value.
 The second point is that the work of the lesser known writers needs to be elevated into the public consciousness. All of them had a significant influence on the development of African-American literature at a time of great struggle to be heard.
 The authors featured in this collection are:

*) Langston Hughes
*) Zora Neale Hurston
*) W. E. B. Dubois
*) Paul Laurence Dunbar
*) Alice Dunbar Nelson
*) Jean Toomer
*) Claude McKay
*) Frances E. W. Harper
*) Charles W. Chesnutt

 Graphic novels often serve as a gateway for people, particularly the young, to be introduced to the act of engaging their mind as well as being exposed to new forms of literature. This one does both very well. I strongly recommend it for middle and high school literature classes where the instructor is looking for new ways to stimulate young readers. Short biographies of the authors are included at the end.

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