Cover image for The African American West : a century of short stories
Title:
The African American West : a century of short stories
Author:
Glasrud, Bruce A.
Publication Information:
Boulder : University Press of Colorado, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
xi, 463 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
The ingrate / Paul Laurence Dunbar -- A brief spell by the river / Colleen McElroy -- An adventure in the Big Horn Mountains; or, the trials and tribulations of a recruit / Eugene P. Frierson -- The averted strike / Charles W. Chesnutt -- As the Lord lives, He is one of our mother's children / Pauline E. Hopkins -- Jesus Christ in Texas / W.E.B. DuBois -- Jim Crow in Texas / William Pickens -- The little grey house / Anita Scott Coleman -- Children of chance / Julian Elihu Bagley -- Let the church roll on / Nick Aaron Ford -- Why I returned / Arna Bontemps -- No fools, no fun / March Lacy -- The gun / Langston Hughes -- Grazing in good pastures / Margaret Williams -- Mister Toussan / Ralph Ellison -- Health card / Frank Yerby -- Stop, Thief! / John Wesley Groves IV -- Lunching at the Ritzmore / Chester Himes -- God bless America / John O. Killens -- Keys to the city / Malvin Wald -- Son in the afternoon / John A. Williams -- Direct action / Mike Thelwell -- The coming of the hoodlum / Johnie Scott -- Ticket to freedom / John R. Posey -- Judah's a two-way street running out / Jack Burris -- Water seeks its own level / Maxine Clair -- The flashlight / Eldridge Cleaver --Support your local police / Ed Bullins -- Ridin' the moon in Texas / Ntozake Shange -- Young Reverend Zelma Lee Moses / Joyce Carol Thomas -- Tell me Moore / Aya de Leon -- Quilting on the rebound / Terry McMillan -- Damon and Vandalia / Rita Dove -- Tenderhead / Harryette Mullen -- The Friday night shift at the taco house blues (wah-wah) / Wanda Coleman -- Emerald City: Third & Pike / Charlotte Watson Sherman -- Elbow room / James Alan McPherson -- Long distances / Jewell Parker Rhodes -- Now is the time / Cecil M. Brown -- Cry about a nickel / Percival Everett -- Surfiction / John Edgar Wideman -- The trip back from Whidbey / William Henry Lewis -- Wonderful teen / Carolyn Ferrell -- The kind of light that shines on Texas / Reginald McKnight -- Equal opportunity / Walter Mosley -- Amen / Sunny Nash.
ISBN:
9780870815591
Format :
Book

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PS647.A35 A38 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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PS647.A35 A38 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PS647.A35 A38 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
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Summary

Summary

The distinguished body of short stories depicting African Americans in the western United States has long been overlooked, and for a number of reasons: black writers were historically denied publication in white journals, American publishers have tended to show a bias towards East Coast fiction, and the short story has frequently been neglected in literary circles. In response to this lack of recognition, Bruce Glasrud and Laurie Champion have compiled The African-American West: A Century of Short Stories.

The beginning of the twentieth century saw western American writers giving new meaning to the literature portraying African Americans. Rather than reproducing the racial stereotypes and condescending dialogue found in past fiction of the eastern United States, these authors portrayed black Americans seeking new lives.

Ranging from early twentieth-century writers such as Charles Chesnutt to contemporary authors such as Walter Mosley, the works in The African American West demonstrate how the West, as seen through the eyes of African Americans, has evolved over the last century. Glasrud, a historian, and Champion, a literary scholar, combine their varying areas of expertise in The African American West, and their introductions to each chapter of the book provide both literary and historical insight into the African American experience in the West. Containing forty-six short stories as well as an extensive bibliography, this volume is an excellent resource for scholars of modern literature and African American history and culture.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This one-of-a-kind anthology sheds needed light on a neglected body of literature. Gathered here are a century's worth of African American short stories, told from the point of view of a black person or featuring a black person as a major character and set in the American West. The 46 stories range widely in settings within that vast chunk of American real estate called the West; and not suggesting these gems of fiction were meant as sociological tracks, each one nonetheless contributes in its own fashion to a greater understanding of the history of the black presence in the West. Male and female characters from all walks of life make their way through these pages. Some stories have as a nucleus the author's historical consciousness; other stories focus strictly on the here and now in which they were written. Less well known names stand strong against bigger names, which include Charles W. Chesnutt, Frank Yerby, and Walter Mosley. Not to be overlooked when rounding out any public library's short-story collection. --Brad Hooper


Choice Review

Any new anthology of African American fiction is welcome--and this one offers superb contrast to Terry McMillan's anthology of contemporary African American fiction Breaking Ice (1990). Glasrud and Champion include a wide range of fine stories by early writers both little known (like Pauline Hopkins) and prominent (Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison), and by many contemporary authors (including Rita Dove and Reginald McKnight). However, the book promises more than it delivers; the "West" of its title is only weakly defined, and often means merely settings west of the Mississippi River. For example, the editors include several stories set in a California that may be "western" only by default, and the Texas stories often seem as much southern as western. A second distraction is that the collection deviates from its chronology to focus on gender--that is, stories about African American women (albeit in "the West")--and then returns to its historical framework. The editorial material is broadly useful, including an excellent bibliography, but the chapter introductions offer little more than redundant synopses of the stories. On the whole, a shorter, more selective book might have better served this title. General, undergraduate, and graduate collections. ; Bellevue University