Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015k

writers-quote-wed-20151

My interest to search out female African-American authors has been a long-time, though neglected wish, to know more about their contributions to and role in the literary world. Writers Quote Wednesday 2015 has helped me to fulfill this wish and for this I am grateful.

Nella Larsen.

IMG_0722

Larsen, a fiction novelist, is the first African-American female author to win a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Nella Larsenn

In her short-lived career, she published:

  • Two BooksPassingQuicksand; and
  • Four StoriesFreedomQuicksand
    • The Wrong Man
    • Sanctuary

Charles Larson, edited Larsen’s literary works; and, published the book, “The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen”; which, I am currently reading.

Her life story is a sad one — emotional abandonment by parents, controversial divorce, and accusations of plagiarism.  The plagiarism allegations, in 1930, related to her last story, “Sanctuary”.  Following this, she gave up writing and returned to her career as a nurse.

According to Black History Now,

“Her value to American literature is continually growing.  Today, many critics consider her to be the greatest novelist of the Harlem Renaissance, and her work continues to be read nationally and internationally.”

Born on April 13, 1891, in Chicago, Illinois, Larsen died alone on March 30, 1964 in her New York Apartment.  

 

 

Writer’s Quote 2015

writers-quote-wed-20151

This week, I selected a quote by Shirley Graham Du Bois.

photo

 

photoWhile still a student at Oberlin College, DuBois wrote and produced a three act opera, “Tom-Toms: An Epic of Music and the Negro.” Featuring an all black cast, it opened at the Cleveland Stadium in 1932.  The first performance drew ten thousand and the second fifteen thousand including the Governor of Ohio.  DuBois is the first African-American woman to write and produce an opera with an all-black cast.

According to the Oxford Companion to African-American Literature, DuBois other “theater works included:

  • Deep Rivers (1939), a musical;
  • It’s Morning (1940), a one-act tragedy
  • I Gotta Home (1940), a one-act drama
  • Track Thirteen (1940), a comedy for radio and her only published play;
  • Elijah Raven (1941), a three-act comedy; and
  • Dust to Earth (1941), a three-act tragedy.”

Because of the obstacles she faced, as an African-American female, in getting her musicals and plays produced and published, DuBois transitioned to literature.

From 1944 until her death in 1977, she wrote biographical books targeted to reach young African-American elementary school readers.  She felt elementary schools lacked access to quality educational resources about African-American and African heroes.

On a personal note, in the late 1940’s and 50’s, my elementary school library as well as the neighborhood public library had books written by DuBois (aka Graham) on:

  • Dr. George Washington Carver
  • Benjamin Banneker
  • Paul Robeson
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Jean Baptiste Pointe duSable

However, the classroom text books, as I recall, had only 1-2 pages about two African-Americans — Dr. George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington.  So, I am very appreciative of the books written by DuBois; and, I regret that the Chicago Public School system did not, apparently, feel it was necessary to include African-American history and literature into the curriculum during the 1940s and 1950s.  Hopefully, this is no longer the case.

In addition to her biographical books, DuBois wrote and published two novels:

  • There Once Was a Slave (1947)
  • Zulu Heart (1974)

In 1951, she married writer and Civil Rights Leader, W.E.B. DuBois.  Shirley Graham DuBois died of breast cancer on March 27, 1977.

In this season of life, I seek to open up my space to the “new and different”; and participating weekly in Writer’s Quote, 2015 is, indeed, a “new and different” experience for me. Thank you, Silver Threading, for hosting this event.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

I loved and embraced the poetry, books and quotes of African-American authors during the 70s.  But, the busyness of making a living as opposed to working toward living life to its fullest took me away from many of these gifted wordsmith’s until I found Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015 hosted by Silver Threading.

writers-quote-wed-20151

But, I never abandoned Alice Walker whose words ground and support when the mind, body and spirit is weak.

image
Birthdate – February 9, 1944

Women’s Rights Activist/Author/Civil Rights Activist is Walker’s self-defined occupation.  She has received many awards and recognitions for her:

  • Novels and Short Stories
  • Poetry
  • Non-Fiction Books
  • Essays

Favorite Book

In 1983, Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for “The Color Purple.”  Three years later the story hit the movie screen and received eleven academy award nominations.

On December 1, 2005, the “Color of Purple” opened on Broadway.  Two years later Hubby, the children, grands and I went to New York City to see the production and celebrate my 65th as well as the eldest granddaughter’s 16th birthday.

Favorite Poem

Walker’s poem “For My People,” has been my “go to” when, I felt, unfairly judged, treated and/or demonized because of skin color.

A long poem addressing a lot, speaking to many, but I will only share three of my favorite passages.

“For my people everywhere singing their slave songs repeatedly, their dirges and their ditties and their blues and jubilees, saying their prayers nightly to an unknown God, bending their knees humbly to an unseen power.”

“For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn to know the reasons why and the answers to and the people who and the places where and the days when, in memory of the bitter hours when we discovered we were black and poor and small and different and nobody wondered and nobody understood.”

“For my people standing staring trying to fashion a better way from confusion, from hypocrisy and misunderstanding, trying to fashion a world that will hold all the people all the faces all the Adams and Eves and their countless generations; Let a new earth rise.  Let another world be born. Let a peace be written in the sky.  Let a people loving freedom come to growth.  Let a generation full of courage issue forth. Let freedom be the pulsing in our spirits and our blood.  Let the martial songs be written; let the dirges disappear. Let a race of men now rise and take control!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Shared Decision Concept in Your Healthcare

The Beaver Lake Library

Where we love dogs, read books, and talk Kentucky politics.

Birthing Rainbows

Sometimes There Are Rainbows After Rain

The Oily Guru

Aromatherapy and life

Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

Watching the Daisies

Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow

Ramblings of a Writer

Living the Path of Life

scottishmomus

What I See

hometogo232

A place of Love and Security

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Robby Robin's Journey

Reflections of an inquiring retiree ...

WGN-TV

Chicago's Very Own source for breaking news, weather, sports and entertainment.

WARE I'M COMING FROM

BARE ALL: THE TRUTH IS BETTER NAKED.

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

writing for self-discovery

creating a life that fits like skin

Haddon Musings

There are 11,507 stories in Haddonfield; this is one of them.

Share Your Light

You are a miracle - Let it happen

M J Mallon YA Author and Poet

Kyrosmagica Publishing - The Magical Home of Books, Writing, Photography and Inspiration

Cathy Lynn Brooks

Let me tell you Justine's story

Eugi's Causerie

a place to chat

willowdot21

An insight to a heart mind and soul.

mindjobusiness

Self Love Enthusiast. Dating Inquisitive. Lover of All Things Positive.

Treat Yourself to a Journaling Adventure

journal prompts, memoir, art, poetry for the verbose and the introverted

Miscellaneous & Recommendations

This WordPress.com site is great for bloggers and readers.

When Timber Makes One Still

"Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the soul" -John Muir

Reymon de Real Photography

My favorite hobby is capturing the beauty around me.

vanbytheriver

Living Life. Paying Attention.

The Black Rose

A Safe Haven for Silent Voices

Sights & Insights

By Lucile de Godoy

Tourmaline .

Small Scale Fabricated Photography, Toy Photography History, Art Creation Musings

Teaching No Talking

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better" ~Albert Einstein

Life As An Art Form

Quips & Commentaries in Prose and Poetry

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

LEANNE COLE

Trying to live a creative life

Nik's Place

A place for words to chill...

SueBee and Kat

Everything on the Kansas prairie... and sometimes beyond

Critical Dispatches

Reports from my somewhat unusual life

Nikki Skies

I am a lover of perseverance. I am folklore. I am consistency and contradiction.

Crafting in the 21st Century

Using current technology to create 19th Century crafts

Good Woman

Threads of My Life

Expressing my vision

A journey into creativity