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Black Writing from Chicago

Black Writing from Chicago

In the World, Not of It?

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Edited by Richard R. Guzman. Foreword by Carolyn M. Rodgers


360 pages, 6 x 9


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About the Book

Black Writing from Chicago: In the World, Not of It? takes readers on a cultural trip through Chicago’s literary history. Editor Richard R. Guzman compiles the first comprehensive collection of the works of Chicago’s black writers from 1861 to the present day. The anthology, which includes works from newspaper writing, poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and historical and social commentary, seeks not only to represent a broad range of writings but also to focus tightly on such themes as hope and despair, racism and equality, spirituality and religion. More than sixty writers, from the anonymous “J. W. M. (Colored)” to Ken Green, unfold a story that reflects the literary periods in black American history. Each author’s selection is preceded by a biographical and a bibliographical introduction. Readers interested in Chicago, race relations, and literature, as well as scholars of history, sociology, urban studies, and cultural studies, will find the collection invaluable.


Richard R. Guzman is a professor of English and the coordinator of the master of arts in liberal studies and the master of leadership studies programs at North Central College. He is a coeditor of Smokestacks and Skyscrapers: An Anthology of Chicago Writing


“The ‘canon’ of Chicago’s literature invariably emphasizes the city’s multiethnic character, but until recently white authors’ representations of Chicago have been best known. This collection offers an alternative vision to the Chicago of Dreiser, Sandburg, Masters, and Anderson. It reveals the continuous presence of black writers in Chicago and their pivotal contributions to the city’s cultural, political, and intellectual life. Black Writing from Chicago: In the World, Not of It? is also invaluable for introducing readers to a new generation of writers. This is a tremendous resource for anyone interested in the literature of Chicago.”—Lisa Woolley, author of American Voices of the Chicago Renaissance