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Thursday, February 6, 1997

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  • NELLIE MCCAY and African American Literature

    In the history of the world’s great literature, few traditions
    have origins as remarkable as that created by African slaves and
    ex-slaves in the Americas. On Democracy Now, we present a one
    hour special on the rich and dazzling tradition of African-American
    literature and culture, including a rare speech from James Baldwin
    and a fabulous presentation by Walter Mosley, the African American
    mystery writer.

    Just this past month, a major new book was published — the Norton
    Anthology of African American Literature, a 2,600-page book of some
    120 writers from 1746 to the present day. This literary treasure
    also contains 13 works in their entirety, including Frederick
    Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and
    Gwendolyn Brooks’ Maud Martha.


  • James Baldwin and African American Literature

    James Baldwin, the author of Giovanni’s Room and The Fire Next
    Time, was one of the giants of African American literature. But he
    was also a noted political activist. Today, we here a classic
    speech from Baldwin recorded back in 1963, one month after the
    historic March on Washington and just days after the Birmingham,
    Alabama, church bombing that claimed the lives of 6 young black


  • Walter Mosley and African American Literature

    African American writer Walter Mosley is quickly emerging as one of
    the great American novelists. Just as striking as his speedy
    arrival on the American literary scene is his genre — a series of
    mystery novels set in postwar Los Angeles featuring a reluctant
    black investigator, Easy Rawlins.

    Today we here from Walter Mosley at a speech he gave at Medgar
    Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, this year.