In Black and White is the first video series devoted to the life and work of contemporary African American authors. It introduces students and general readers to six of America's most talented and challenging writers: Charles Johnson, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, John Edgar Wideman and August Wilson.
These authors' work is helping to define a new multi-cultural American literary canon for the 21st Century. As Nobel Prize- winning novelist Toni Morrison observes in her program, "American literature is incoherent without the contribution of African Americans."
Teachers and librarians will want to use these "video prefaces" to encourage viewers to explore the exciting work of these six authors. Each program uses interviews with the writers and excerpts from their books to locate their work in the broader context of African American history and letters.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, for example, feels his plays on black history originate in "the blood's memory." Toni Morrison tries to heal the wounds of the African American past by confronting them in her novels. John Edgar Wideman draws on his own family's experiences to explore the painful contradictions of contemporary black life. Gloria Naylor says that her sharply etched portraits of black communities "help us celebrate voraciously that which is ours."
Novelist Charles Johnson, on the other hand, combines black folklore and modern phenomenology to "seek the universal in the particulars of the black experience." And Alice Walker explains how her "womanist" perspective has helped her reconcile her triple identity as a woman, an African American and a writer. "It's like having three eyes, three hearts," she says. Each author emphasizes the crucial role writing has played in African Americans' continuing struggle for self- definition.
"A valuable introduction to contemporary African American writers." - Booklist "An excellent selection for American Literature courses and Women's Studies programs...An important primary source for those interest in African American writing." - Video Rating Guide for Libraries "Thought-provoking...Serves as a fine introduction to the works of the authors." - Video Librarian "The whole series has the tonic effect of revealing how rich and varied are the hearts and minds behind African American writing." - Library Journal
If you are a student or a professor:Watch now
If you are a librarian or a professor: