By Leonard Unger, Jay Parini
This complement provides 18 acclaimed writers, together with Jim Harrison, Alfred Kazin, Bobbi Ann Mason, Thomas Merton, Gary Snyder and others.
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Extra resources for American Writers: Supplement
The rest of the essay assesses what Bambara sees as “the complex of longing, irony, and insistence” that describes blacks’ “angular” relationship to America. ” Other blacks want the children to learn about black history. ” After the 1948 presidential election, African Americans were urged to “play ward politics for local spoils” and forget larger issues of conscience, or they were urged to bloc vote with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which was backing Henry Wallace rather than working to establish an independent black national party.
Lastly, it is still necessary to counter propaganda and programming that results in a widening of the gap between the black working and middle classes. Taking Philadelphia as an example, Bambara remonstrates against economic practices that result in delayed paychecks for municipal workers and protests what she sees as the “hijacking” of neighborhoods by developers. She condemns FBI harassment of black and Latino task forces that uncover corruption at financial institutions. ” She hails Paule Marshall’s 1983 novel Praisesong for the Widow as promoting “a refamiliarization with blackness” and compares it to Dash’s Daughters of the Dust, which urges the protagonist to “resist amnesia,” even as the viewer is liberated from imperialism.
Frequently potential opportunities are lost not because of circumstance but because of the failure of a character to follow through on something that he or she may or may not want. For example, in The Brothers, Del has come to Biloxi to move into a condo that his former father-in-law has given him; however, the space is not yet vacant, so Del decides to stay with his brother, Bud, in the interim. When he arrives, Del’s sister-in-law, Margaret, tells Del that Bud has left for California spontaneously to pursue a film career.
American Writers: Supplement by Leonard Unger, Jay Parini