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The Portable Harlem Renaissance

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Black History: Writers of Color Posters & Prints, “W...-X...-”
with social studies and homeschooler resources.

social studies > black history > Black Writers Index > a-c | d | e-g | h-i | j-n | o-t | W-X < literature posters

Black History Notable Authors ~

Alice Walker
David Walker
Margaret Walker
Theodore Ward

Ida Wells-Barnett
Dorothy West
Phillis Wheatley

August Wilson
Harriet E. Wilson
Carter G. Woodson
Richard Wright

The Color Purple, Mini Poster Alice Walker
The Color Purple
Mini Poster

Alice Walker,
b. 2-9-1944; Georgia

The Color Purple is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by African-American author Alice Walker.

David Walker's Appeal
David Walker's Appeal

David Walker
b. 9-26-1796; Cape Fear region of North Carolina
d. 6-28-1830; Boston, MA (tuberculosis)

Abolitionist and anti-slavery activist David Walker published An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, a call for black unity and self-help in the fight against oppression and injustice, in 1829.

Jubilee, Margaret Walker
Margaret Walker

(no commercially
available poster)

Margaret Walker
b. 7-6-1915; Birmingham, AL
d. 11-30-1998; Chicago, IL (breast cancer)

Margaret Walker gained national attention with the 1942 collection For My People. Her novel Jubilee, first published in 1966, was about her grandmother's life as a slave.

Big White Fog, Theodore Ward
Big White Fog,
Theodore Ward

Theodore Ward
b. 11-15-1902; Thibodeaux, LA
d. 5-8-1983

Playwright Theodore Ward is best remembered for his play Big White Fog and as a founder of the Negro Playwrights' Company with Paul Robeson, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes, among others.

Big White Fog, Works Projects Administration Poster
Big White Fog,
Works Projects Administration Poster

Theodore Ward quote ~
• “But suddenly I found my spirit sickened as I realised the truth: 'I'm a Negro and all this beauty and majesty does not belong to me.' With a fallen heart, I acknowledged that I had nothing to boast of. I was a descendant of the slaves who had built this country, yet I was still deprived of the patriotic joy felt by those who claimed the land as their own. In my bewilderment that late afternoon, it suddenly occurred to me that we as a people were engulfed by a pack of lies, surrounded, in fact, by one big white fog through which we could see no light anywhere. Disheartened, as the sun sank behind the mountains west of the pass, I crawled back into a darkened corner of the boxcar and there I lay down, convinced that my life would be that of a 'floater', sans hope, sans purpose.”
My search for the lost voice of black America, Michael Attenborough

Ida B. Wells, Giclee Print
Ida B. Wells,
Giclee Print

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett
b. 7-16-1862; Holly Springs, MS
d. 3-25-1931; Chicago

Ida Wells-Barnett, active in the women's rights and the women's suffrage movement, is best remembered today for her journalistic campaign against racial lynching. Threats against her life and the destruction of her Memphis, TN newspaper office only produced stronger and louder editorials and investigative journalism on the subject.

FYI - Ida Wells was arrested for refusing to give up her train seat to a white man 71 years before Rosa Parks.

Ida B. Wells quotes:
• “I will not begin at this late day by doing what my soul abhors; sugaring men, weak deceitful creatures, with flattery to retain them as escorts or to gratify a revenge.”

• more women posters

The Living is Easy, Dorothy West
The Living is Easy, Dorothy West

(not commercially available poster)

Dorothy West
b. 6-2-1907; Boston, MA
d. 8-16-1998

Dorothy West won the Opportunity short-story prize in 1927 (shared with Zora Neale Hurston). She also was the youngest writer associated with the Harlem Renaissance, founding and editing literary magazines The Challenge and New Challenge.

Portrait of Phillis Wheatley (c.1753-84), Giclee Print
Phillis Wheatley (c.1753-84),
Giclee Print

Phillis Wheatley
b. c. 1753; Senegal
d. 12-5-1784; Boston

The woman known as Phillis Wheatley was born in Senegal, kidnapped in 1761 and shipped to America on a slave ship named “Phillis”. She was purchased John and Susanna Wheatley, a wealthy Boston merchant, who tutored her with their son Nathaniel. Wheatley's published poetry helped her gain her freedom but she died in poverty, from complications of childbirth. One of her poems was in praise of George Washington; she was a supporter of the colonists seeking independence.

Playwright August Wilson, Photographed at the Yale Repertory Theater in New Haven, CT, Photographic Print
August Wilson, Photographic Print

August Wilson
b. 4-27-1945; Pittsburgh, PA
d. 10-2-2005; Seattle, WA (liver cancer)

Playwright August Wilson's legacy is a ten play series, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each play is set in a different decade, depicting the aspects of the African-American experience in the twentieth century.

August Wilson quotes ~
• “Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.”
• “All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.”
• “Regardless of the medium, rewriting and more rewriting is still necessary. No one gets anything right the first time, and since I don't write with a hammer and chisel, it's relatively easy for me to change. It's just words on paper. Words are free. You don't go to the store and order a pound of words, or five hundred words, and pay your three dollars. They're free.”
• “What comes forth from you as an artist cannot be controlled. But you have responsibilities as a global citizen. Your history dictates your duty. And by writing about black people, you are not limiting yourself. The experiences of African-Americans are as wide open as God's closet.”

Our Nig: or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, Harriet E. Wilson
Our Nigro or,
Sketches from
the Life of a
Free Black,
Harriet E. Wilson

(not commerically
available poster)

Harriet E. Wilson
b. 3-15-1825; Milford, NH
d. 6-28-1900; Seattle, WA

Harriet “Hattie” Wilson is traditionally considered the first African-American novelist of any gender to publish a novel, her autobiographical Our Nig, on the North American continent.

The Mis-Education of the Negro, Carter G. Woodson
The Mis-Education
of the Negro,
Carter G. Woodson

(no commerically
available poster)

Carter Godwin Woodson
b. 12-19-1875; New Canton, VA
d. 4-3-1950; Washington, DC

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, historian, educator, and the founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, was the author of more than 16 books. Known as the Father of Black History, Woodson was a moving force of what would become Black History Month.

Richard Wright Poster
Richard Wright

Richard Wright
b. 9-4-1908; near Natchez, MS
d. 11-28-1960

Novelist and short story writer Richard Wright, who was forced by family circumstances to quit formal education after completing grammar school, continued to learn by himself.

"I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all, to keep alive in our hearts a sense of the inexpressibly human.” American Hunger

• more Richard Wright posters

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