Catalogue


Letters from Black America /
edited by Pamela Newkirk.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009.
description
xix, 372 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0374101094 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780374101091 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009.
isbn
0374101094 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780374101091 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6826137
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2008-12-22:
With nearly 200 letters arranged chronologically under broad rubrics (e.g. Family, Courtship and Romance, Poli-tics and Social Justice, Across the Diaspora), Newkirk (Within the Veil) sets out to offer "a sweeping narrative history of the Black American experience." That is too large a claim; only sixteen letters precede the end of the Civil War, and while most of the public correspondence is essential (e.g. Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson, Phillis Wheatley to George Washington, James Baldwin's letter to his nephew, Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter to white clergymen), Newkirk's principle of selection is unclear. The author's bland section introductions do little to set a context for particular letters, though the head notes are generally useful. About half of the letters were written between 1900 and 1940, but it's up-to-date on the Obama campaign with letters from Rev. Wright and Toni Morrison. This is an instructive, moving even delightful primer on the myriad facets of African American private and public life. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2008-11-01:
Journalist Newkirk (Within the Veil) presents correspondence from men and women who lived through the tumultuous events of the 18th through the 21st century, from slavery to the war in Iraq. Politicians, entertainers, slaves, and many more define their struggles and triumphs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"When we think of great memorials and monuments, we often envision structures crafted out of steel or stone. But I believe the letters in Pamela Newkirk's tremendous collection represent perhaps the most powerful and enduring legacy to the strength, creativity, genius, and resilience of the African-American community. LETTERS FROM BLACK AMERICA is, itself, a work of art." Andrew Carroll, editor of the New York Times bestseller LETTERS OF A NATION"Seldom has the intimate life of a people been more variously revealed. Think of the day when there may only be downloaded email and then thank Pamela Newkirk for the enduring significance, poignancy, and delight of her Letters From Black America." David Levering Lewis, Julius Silver University Professor, New York University, and author of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winningW.E.B. Du Bois"This is an extraordinary peek at what went on behind the closed doors of black America for nearly three hundred years. Notables are reduced to human beings, and the anonymous come to life. These extraordinary snapshots of the past will provide hours of informative pleasure and delightful reading. Wonderfully done." James McBride, Author ofThe Color of WaterPraise forA Love No Less: "The charm of these letters creeps up on you . . . Newkirk meant this collection to be representative of the Black American experience, but truly, it's also a window into the human heart. Any human heart." CAROLINE LEAVITT,The Boston Globe
Praise forA Love No Less: "The charm of these letters creeps up on you . . . Newkirk meant this collection to be representative of the Black American experience, but truly, it's also a window into the human heart. Any human heart." CAROLINE LEAVITT,The Boston Globe
"This long-overdue collection by writers from all walks of life is moving, illuminating, and difficult to put down." Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund"When we think of great memorials and monuments, we often envision structures crafted out of steel or stone. But I believe the letters in Pamela Newkirk's tremendous collection represent perhaps the most powerful and enduring legacy to the strength, creativity, genius, and resilience of the African-American community. LETTERS FROM BLACK AMERICA is, itself, a work of art." Andrew Carroll, editor of the New York Times bestseller LETTERS OF A NATION"Seldom has the intimate life of a people been more variously revealed. Think of the day when there may only be downloaded email and then thank Pamela Newkirk for the enduring significance, poignancy, and delight of her Letters From Black America." David Levering Lewis, Julius Silver University Professor, New York University, and author of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winningW.E.B. Du Bois"This is an extraordinary peek at what went on behind the closed doors of black America for nearly three hundred years. Notables are reduced to human beings, and the anonymous come to life. These extraordinary snapshots of the past will provide hours of informative pleasure and delightful reading. Wonderfully done." James McBride, Author ofThe Color of WaterPraise forA Love No Less: "The charm of these letters creeps up on you . . . Newkirk meant this collection to be representative of the Black American experience, but truly, it's also a window into the human heart. Any human heart." CAROLINE LEAVITT,The Boston Globe
"An instructive, movingeven delightfulprimer on the myriad facets of African-American private and public life." Publishers Weekly"This long-overdue collection by writers from all walks of life is moving, illuminating, and difficult to put down." Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund"When we think of great memorials and monuments, we often envision structures crafted out of steel or stone. But I believe the letters in Pamela Newkirk's tremendous collection represent perhaps the most powerful and enduring legacy to the strength, creativity, genius, and resilience of the African American community. Letters from Black America is itself a work of art." Andrew Carroll, editor ofLetters of a NationandWar Letters"Seldom has the intimate life of a people been more variously revealed. Think of the day when there may only be downloaded e-mail, and then thank Pamela Newkirk for the enduring significance, poignancy, and delight of herLetters from Black America." David Levering Lewis, Julius Silver University Professor, New York University, and author ofW.E.B. Du Bois"This is an extraordinary peek at what went on behind the closed doors of black America for nearly three hundred years. Notables are reduced to human beings, and the anonymous come to life. These extraordinary snapshots of the past will provide hours of informative pleasure and delightful reading. Wonderfully done." James McBride, author ofThe Color of WaterPraise forA Love No Less: "The charm of these letters creeps up on you . . . Newkirk meant this collection to be representative of the black American experience, but truly, it's also a window into the human heart. Any human heart." Caroline Leavitt,The Boston Globe
"As the country enters a fresh atmosphere around our latest president, "Letters From Black America" strikes a vital, rich chord in which to breathe the new air." Cleveland Plain Dealer "As the country enters a fresh atmosphere around our latest president, Letters From Black Americastrikes a vital, rich chord in which to breathe the new air." Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer "Ah, the lure and lore of the letter! Nowadays we turn to cell phones, e-mail and instant messaging to connect, but when you crack open Pamela Newkirk's Letters From Black Americayou'll see that the pen is mightier than the thumb." Mika Ono, Essence "An instructive, movingeven delightfulprimer on the myriad facets of African-American private and public life." Publishers Weekly "This long-overdue collection by writers from all walks of life is moving, illuminating, and difficult to put down." Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund "When we think of great memorials and monuments, we often envision structures crafted out of steel or stone. But I believe the letters in Pamela Newkirk's tremendous collection represent perhaps the most powerful and enduring legacy to the strength, creativity, genius, and resilience of the African American community. Letters from Black America is itself a work of art." Andrew Carroll, editor of Letters of a Nationand War Letters "Seldom has the intimate life of a people been more variously revealed. Think of the day when there may only be downloaded e-mail, and then thank Pamela Newkirk for the enduring significance, poignancy, and delight of her Letters from Black America." David Levering Lewis, Julius Silver University Professor, New York University, and author of W.E.B. Du Bois "This is an extraordinary peek at what went on behind the closed doors of black America for nearly three hundred years. Notables are reduced to human beings, and the anonymous come to life. These extraordinary snapshots of the past will provide hours of informative pleasure and delightful reading. Wonderfully done." James McBride, author of The Color of Water Praise for A Love No Less: "The charm of these letters creeps up on you . . . Newkirk meant this collection to be representative of the black American experience, but truly, it's also a window into the human heart. Any human heart." Caroline Leavitt, The Boston Globe
"As the country enters a fresh atmosphere around our latest president, "Letters From Black America" strikes a vital, rich chord in which to breathe the new air." Cleveland Plain Dealer"As the country enters a fresh atmosphere around our latest president,Letters From Black Americastrikes a vital, rich chord in which to breathe the new air." Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer"Ah, the lure and lore of the letter! Nowadays we turn to cell phones, e-mail and instant messaging to connect, but when you crack open Pamela Newkirk'sLetters From Black Americayou'll see that the pen is mightier than the thumb." Mika Ono, Essence"An instructive, movingeven delightfulprimer on the myriad facets of African-American private and public life." Publishers Weekly"This long-overdue collection by writers from all walks of life is moving, illuminating, and difficult to put down." Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund"When we think of great memorials and monuments, we often envision structures crafted out of steel or stone. But I believe the letters in Pamela Newkirk's tremendous collection represent perhaps the most powerful and enduring legacy to the strength, creativity, genius, and resilience of the African American community. Letters from Black America is itself a work of art." Andrew Carroll, editor ofLetters of a NationandWar Letters"Seldom has the intimate life of a people been more variously revealed. Think of the day when there may only be downloaded e-mail, and then thank Pamela Newkirk for the enduring significance, poignancy, and delight of herLetters from Black America." David Levering Lewis, Julius Silver University Professor, New York University, and author ofW.E.B. Du Bois"This is an extraordinary peek at what went on behind the closed doors of black America for nearly three hundred years. Notables are reduced to human beings, and the anonymous come to life. These extraordinary snapshots of the past will provide hours of informative pleasure and delightful reading. Wonderfully done." James McBride, author ofThe Color of WaterPraise forA Love No Less: "The charm of these letters creeps up on you . . . Newkirk meant this collection to be representative of the black American experience, but truly, it's also a window into the human heart. Any human heart." Caroline Leavitt,The Boston Globe
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, November 2008
Publishers Weekly, December 2008
Booklist, February 2009
Library Journal, February 2009
USA Today, February 2009
School Library Journal, May 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Letters from Black Americafills a literary and historical void by presenting the pantheon of African American experience in the most intimate way possible - through the heartfelt correspondence of the men and women who lived through monumental changes and pivotal events, from the 1700s to the twenty-first century, from slavery to the war in Iraq. The first-ever narrative history of African Americans told through their own letters, this book includes the thoughts of politicians, writers, and entertainers, as well as those of slaves, servicemen, and domestic workers. From a slave who writes to his wife on the eve of being sold to famous documents like Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," these writings illuminate struggles and triumphs, hardships and glory, in the unforgettable words of the participants themselves. Letters from Black Americais an indispensable addition to our country's literary tradition, historical understanding, and self-knowledge.
Main Description
Letters from Black America fills a literary and historical void by presenting the pantheon of African American experience in the most intimate way possiblethrough the heartfelt correspondence of the men and women who lived through monumental changes and pivotal events, from the 1700s to the twenty-first century, from slavery to the war in Iraq. The first-ever narrative history of African Americans told through their own letters, this book includes the thoughts of politicians, writers, and entertainers, as well as those of slaves, servicemen, and domestic workers. From a slave who writes to his wife on the eve of being sold to famous documents like Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," these writings illuminate struggles and triumphs, hardships and glory, in the unforgettable words of the participants themselves. Letters from Black America is an indispensable addition to our country's literary tradition, historical understanding, and self-knowledge.
Main Description
Letters from Black Americafills a literary and historical void by presenting the pantheon of African American experience in the most intimate way possiblethrough the heartfelt correspondence of the men and women who lived through monumental changes and pivotal events, from the 1700s to the twenty-first century, from slavery to the war in Iraq. The first-ever narrative history of African Americans told through their own letters, this book includes the thoughts of politicians, writers, and entertainers, as well as those of slaves, servicemen, and domestic workers. From a slave who writes to his wife on the eve of being sold, to famous documents like Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," these writings illuminate the struggles and triumphs, hardships and glory, in the unforgettable words of the participants themselves.Letters from Black Americais an indispensable addition to our country's literary tradition, historical understanding, and self-knowledge.
Main Description
The first-ever narrative history of African Americans told through their own letters, this book includes the thoughts of politicians, writers, and entertainers, as well as those of slaves, servicemen, and domestic workers.

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