- African-American Classics presents great stories and poems from
America's earliest Black writers, illustrated by contemporary African-American artists. Featured are "Two Americans" by Florence Lewis Bentley, "The Goophered
Grapevine" by Charles W. Chesnutt, "Becky" by Jean Toomer, two short plays by
Zora Neale Hurston, and six more tales of humor and tragedy. Also featured are eleven poems, including Langston Hughes' "Danse Africaine" and "The Negro", plus
Paul Laurence Dunbar's "Sympathy" ('I know why the caged bird sings...')
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Graphic Classics, Volume 22: African-American Classics based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Reason for Reading: I absolutely love this series of books and read each new one that comes out. I hope to get around to reading more of their backlist this year.Usually when I read one of these collections of themed books I am familiar with a majority of the works but this time everything was new for me. I do read Black authors but they are contemporary ones such as Toni Morrison, making this an introduction for me to these early Black authors. I should say I was familiar with one writer and that is the poet Langston Hughes. This book does contain more than the norm, for this series, of poetry which I thought would bug me (not a poetry person) but I rather enjoyed the poems especially "Danse Africaine" (which was new to me) by Langston Hughes. Grouping together a collection of stories based on author's race rather than a related theme makes for a wide selection of genres to be represented (though I would say they all expressed the Black experience) and as such a few were not exactly my thing, but I enjoyed the majority of them and found several of them to be excellent. My favourite story was"Lex Talionis" by Robert W. Bagnall, a creepy tale of revenge. I also enjoyed "Two Americans" by Florence Lewis Bentley, "The Goophered Grapevine" by Charles W. Chestnutt. I found "Sanctum 777 N.S.D.C.O.U. Meets Cleopatra" by Leila Amos Pendleton to be a joy and was deeply touched with "Becky" by Jean Toomer. The illustrations throughout the book are fantastic, presenting a wide range of styles and making for a visually stunning book. But then isn't every book in this series! It should be noted that the illustrators for this book are themselves all contemporary Black artists. A great book to treat yourself for Black History Month, or well, just anytime! I certainly appreciate the introduction to authors I've never read before.
African-American Classics presents comics adaptations of great stories and poems by America's earliest black authors, illustrated by contemporary black artists. There are 24 works in all, plus biographical descriptions for authors and artists. This was my first introduction to graphic novels, and I loved it! The selection is outstanding. You'd think the wonderful cover by Afua Richardson (featuring W.E.B. du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes together on a bench at the train station) says it all, but that's just a tease. This book introduces authors whose names are not quite as familiar, such as Leila Amos Pendleton, whose "Sanctum 777 N.S.D.C.O.U. Meets Cleopatra" (adapted by Tom Pomplun and illustrated by Kevin J. Taylor) was among my favorites in the book. It is the perfect marriage of text and illustration. And the artwork...WOW! Such depth and range is on display here, from fine art to more traditional cartooning. There is something and someone new to discover here as each page is eagerly turned. The recommended age is 12 to adult, but I think the racial subject matter of the some of the stories would benefit from adult guidance. Then again, kids today are probably a lot more savvy about such things than an old-timer like me gives them credit for. There is something here for everybody and I think it will grab the attention even of the most reluctant reader. Highly recommended!