Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banned Books Week At The New York Public Library

The 115th Street branch of the New York Public Library is observing Banned Books Week (Sept. 24-Oct. 1). To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, Native Son, and The Grapes of Wrath are among the books on display.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Recovery of African-American History

"Other minorities have had to recover their past because it was neglected or considered unworthy of study, which was the case, for example, of African-American history until scholars set out to recover it in the mid-20th century."--Richard Schneider, Jr., Ph.D, editor-in-chief, The Gay & Lesbian Review (September/October 2011).

Schneider doesn't seem aware of the fact that the recovery of African and African-American history began long before the mid-20th century. Several names of scholars involved in that effort come to mind--Carter G. Woodson, J. A. Rogers, Arthur Schomburg, and Leo Hansberry, the late playwright Lorraine Hansberry's uncle.

In a 1979 issue of Freedomways magazine, devoted to the life and work of Lorraine Hansberry, historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. stated that Leo Hansberry was "the greatest pioneer in African history in this country."

Although scholars like Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, and W.E.B. DuBois were not historians, what they said and wrote in their particular fields (anthropology, philosophy, and sociology respectively) influenced historians of the black experience, both black and white.