This month, we celebrated African American heritage and my goal was to read some of the Harlem Renaissance Era's literature.
This era's authors included Zora Neale Hurston, who grew up in Eatonville, one of the first African American towns to become incorporated. Many of Hurston’s stories depicted the vernacular and life of people whom she knew and lived with in Eatonville.
Langston Hughes, probably the Harlem Renaissance Era's most popular author, is renowned for his poetry. In addition, he was a writer, playwright and novelist.
Both authors’ works are available in our library.
I searched the library catalog for other African American authors from the Renaissance Era and came across Nella Larsen, a biography on whom is this week's Staff Pick.
Her book, “The Nella Larsen Collection,” contains five stories that portray characters whose lives mirror her own. Anxious to learn more about this author, I discovered her biography by George Hutchinson, “In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Color Line.” (Please see sidebar)
Both books proved worth reading and gave greater understanding of African American life during the Harlem Renaissance.
In this era of cultural and social change, African Americans experienced economic freedom and liberty to develop their talent and education.
Numerous artists, musicians, authors, poets and actors were discovered during this time.
I recommend these good reads for anybody interested in African American literature.
Jean Lewis is the Crestview Public Library's director.