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What Makes An African American Classic?
(Presented by Penguin Classics and Barnes & Noble)
What makes an African American Classic? Penguin Classics in conjunction with Barnes & Noble hosted a Panel on February 22nd in New York City with Henry Louis Gates Jr.…
What makes an African American Classic? Penguin Classics in conjunction with Barnes & Noble hosted a Panel on February 22nd in New York City with Henry Louis Gates Jr., Farrah Jasmine Griffin and Dayo Olopade. These premier voices in African American Literature dissect the book Iola Leroy and others to delve into the meaning of a Classic and, more importantly, the meaning of a Classic in African American History.
First published in 1892, this stirring novel by the great writer and activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper tells the story of the young daughter of a wealthy Mississippi planter who travels to the North to attend school, only to be sold into slavery in the South when it is discovered that she has Negro blood. After she is freed by the Union army, she works to reunify her family and embrace her heritage, committing herself to improving the conditions for blacks in America.
Through her fascinating characters—including Iola's brother, who fights at the front in a colored regiment—Harper weaves a vibrant and provocative chronicle of the Civil War and its consequences through African American eyes in this critical contribution to the nation's literature.
Books featured in this episode:
Learn how Lu Xun's The Story of Ah-Q might be the most significant Penguin Classic ever published.
Keith Haring, a Radiant Classic
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