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Other titles in the Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies series:

Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family's Letters (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies)

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Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family's Letters (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ann Petry (1908-1997) achieved prominence during a period in which few black women were published with regularity in America. Her novels Country Place (1947) and The Narrows (1988), along with various short stories and nonfiction, poignantly described the struggles and triumphs of middle-class blacks living in primarily white communities.

Petry's ancestors, the James family, served as in-spiration for much of her fiction. This collection of more than four hundred family letters, edited by the daughter of Ann Petry, is an engaging portrait of black family life from the 1890s to the early twentieth century, a period not often documented by African American voices.

Ann Petry's maternal grandfather, Willis Samuel James, was a slave taught by his children to read and write. He believed "the best place for the negro is as near the white man as he can get." He followed that "truth," working as coachman for a Connecticut governor and buying a house in a white neighborhood in Hartford. Willis had sixteen children by three wives. The letters in this collection are from him and his second wife, Anna E. Houston James, and five of Anna's children, of whom novelist Ann Petry's mother, Bertha James Lane, was the oldest.

History is made and remade by the availability of new documents, sources, and interpretations. Can Anything Beat White? contributes a great deal to this process. The experiences of the James family as documented in their letters challenge both representations of black people at the turn of the century as well as our contemporary sense of black Americans.

Synopsis:

A treasure trove of correspondence among novelist Ann Petry's ancestors

Synopsis:

A trove of correspondence among novelist Ann Petry's articulate ancestors. Spans from the 1890's to the early twentieth century, a period not often documented by African American voices.

About the Author

Elisabeth Petry is a freelance writer with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Middletown, Connecticut. Her work has appeared in Northeast (the magazine of the Hartford Courant) and Work-Boat magazine.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781578067855
Editor:
Petry, Elisabeth
Other:
Petry, Elisabeth
Editor:
Petry, Elisabeth
Author:
Petry, Elisabeth
Author:
Griffin, Farah Jasmine
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Subject:
General
Subject:
People of Color
Subject:
History
Subject:
Letters
Subject:
Novelists, American
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General
Subject:
cultural heritage
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
Novelists, American -- 20th century.
Subject:
African American Studies; Literature
Subject:
African American Studies
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Literary collections
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
WOM
Subject:
en s Studies
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies
Publication Date:
20050931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

» Biography » General
» Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
» History and Social Science » African American Studies » General

Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family's Letters (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies) New Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages University Press of Mississippi - English 9781578067855 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A treasure trove of correspondence among novelist Ann Petry's ancestors
"Synopsis" by , A trove of correspondence among novelist Ann Petry's articulate ancestors. Spans from the 1890's to the early twentieth century, a period not often documented by African American voices.
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