Printer Friendly

A chronicle of words and images.

A bounty of beautiful black books, from photographic anthologies to children's short stories, recently emerged on the market. These works chronicle our struggle and survival, culture and promise. While your favorite bookstore undoubtedly will have many more, here are a select few that will make great gifts for someone you love.

Jazz: Photographs of the Masters

Sonny Rollins, Max Roach Quincy Jones are among the 200 photographic portraits of living jazz legends showcased in this new work. Accompanied by a rich, historical text that traces the development of the music, Jazz outpaces many such previous compendiums.

The Blue Note Years: The Jazz

Photography of Francis Wolff

Co-founder of the world-famous Blue Note Records, Francis Wolff took more than 20,000 snapshots of jazz greats as they recorded in his studio. Now 300 previously unpublished photos of Coltrane, Davis, Blakey and other jazz greats who made the record label preeminent fill this volume.

Art and Craft in Africa: Everyday

Life, Ritual Court Art

In Africa, aesthetic beauty and functionality are inseparable, and as such is celebrated in this finely designed work on African art. More than 180 color photographs of ceremonial statues, masks, swords and cookware from over 100 African tribes accompanied by fast-moving text on the aesthetics of African culture.

One More River To Cross: An African

American Photograph Album

A unique collection of black-and-white photographs of famous and not-so-famous African Americans, Myers chronicles the tragedies and triumphs of black people in the U.S. over the past 150 years. His simple and sweeping prose makes this photo essay an evocative reminder of how far black Americans have come and what it has taken to get there.

The Middle Passage: White

Ships/Black Cargo

Award-winning artist Tom Feelings illustrates the terrifying journey of enslaved Africans crossing the Atlantic ocean, best known as the Middle Passage, with a series of poignant charcoal etchings. Although slim in size, the book overflows with a passion and beauty that sear the mind, wrench the gut and stir the soul. A must for any library.

Essence: 25 Years Celebrating Black


Cull more than 200 photographs of black women from publishing 25 years of Essence magazine and what you have is a tribute to black beauty. A collector's item, the book celebrates the breadth of black womanhood, from the centenarian Delany sisters to the immortal Lena Horne. It's a stunning book any woman would love.

The Block

This slender collage blends the art forms of two Harlem Renaissance preeminent heavy-weights. Artist Romare Bearden's Cubist interpretation of a Harlem block is paired with the eloquence of Langston Hughes' poetry to frame a day-in-the-life picture most African Americans can relate to.

Spook, Spies and Private Eyes: Black

Mystery, Crime and Suspense Fiction of

the 20th Century

There is no genre in literature in which African Americans have not made their voices heard, including mystery writing. Yet for three decades most mysteries by black authors have gathered out-of-circulations periodicals. That is, until Paula Woods compiled this first-of-its-kind anthology featuring tales by Walter Mosley, Chester Himes, Richard Wright and others. It will make mystery lovers out of all who read it.

The Collected Poems by Langston


The only work in existence that boasts the complete poetry of writer extraordinaire Langston Hughes. Filled with lyrical text, the book includes Hughes' dabling in song-writing. This classic captures Hughes' many voices with one fell swoop.

Jump Up and Say: A Collection of

Black Storytelling

This is a rich melange of short stories, poems and essays that all members of the family can enjoy. It captures the traditional art of black storytelling in all its forms from around the world, from Chinua Achebe to Amiri Baraka.

The Complete Kwanzaa: Celebrating

Our Cultural Harvest

For those who want to know more about this Afrocentric holiday, celebrated just a few weeks ago, there are more complete resources. Using the seven Kwanzaa's principles, Winbush explores Kwanzaa's origins and traditions through folktales, proverbs, stories and essays.

Tanya's Reunion

A richly illustrated work for children ages 4 to 8, this is the sequel to Flournoy's The Patchwork Quilt. The book has a spunky lead character, Tanya, who ventures down South with her grandmother The trip is long and the weather miserable, but somehow Tanya discovers that home is really where the heart is in a delightful lesson all children should learn.

Jackal's Flying Lesson

This tale about a devilish jackal that gets his comeuppance is retold charmingly by master storyteller Aardema and illustrated with brightly colored pictures from cover to cover. The original tale hails from the Khoikhoi tribe in southwest Africa and teaches children ages 6 to 10 about the cultural values of another country.

How Sweet the Sound: African

American Songs for Children

Wade and Cheryl Hudson hit the right note with this compilation of African American songs set against a backdrop of earthy and inspiring illustrations. Boasting such tunes as "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" and "Say It Out Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud," this work makes a great gift for children ages 4 to 10.

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm

A science fiction fantasy that would get deep nods from Ray Bradbury. Children ages 10 to 14 will voyage to Zimbabwe in the year 2194, where three detectives - the ear, the eye and the arm - must must find the lost children of a powerful African general. It will have children and a few adults white-knuckling the pages.

The Ben of the Brownies' Book

African American children of the 1920s celebrated black achievement through The Brownies Book, a monthly magazine produced by the NAACP and edited by W.E.B. Dubois. Today's children and their parents can experience that same pride through this anthology of columns, poetry and stories collected from the 24 issues produced.

An Introduction to Business for

African-American Youth

An essential guide for teenagers who want to flex their entrepreneurial muscle. McWhorter takes stuffy business theory and transforms it into a fun, easy learning adventure, filled with biographies of African American entrepreneurs and business start-up suggestions.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:brief reviews are given of 17 recent books written by and for Blacks; they include 'The Complete Book of Kwanzaa' and 'The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes'
Author:Padgett, Tania
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Feb 1, 1996
Previous Article:Tourin' Motown: Detroit's cultural renaissance seeks to lure visitors.
Next Article:RMS strikes deal for growth capital: but will move shift power at New Jersey company.

Related Articles
Language and Voice.
Langston's Buddha Smile.
Our Philadelphia story: today's active African American literary scene in the City of Brotherly Love has deep roots in a proud legacy.
Omar Tyree raw and uncut: the self-described "Urban Griot" hopes to cultivate more black male readers with his next novel Leslie. (Cover Story).
A Poem For Langston Hughes. (Poetry).
The best of 2002.
Langston Hughes's "Mississippi--1955": a note on revisions and an appeal for reconsideration.
Arnold Rampersad, ed. The Collected Works of Langston Hughes.
Room at the inn for writers: a D.C. bed-and-breakfast not only caters to booklovers as paying guests, but runs a free writer-in-residence program.
Sacred ground: the Schomburg is the neighborhood library to students of black history and to great scholars who mine its vast collections for clues...

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters