Maureen Corrigan reviews a new biography of Chester Himes, who published his first novel in the 1940s and was hailed as a worthy member of an elite company of black intellectuals and writers like Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright. Now his literary legacy is largely forgotten. This new biography hopes to change that.
Fresh Air music critic Milo Miles reviews Classic African American Gospel, a Smithsonian Folkways "Classic" that spans over a half century of recordings. Featuring Reverend Gary Davis, Sonny Terry and others, the compilation illustrates a truly American musical tradition.
Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two novels from the series,"Old School Books": "The Angry Ones" by John A. Williams and "The Scene" by Clarence Cooper, Jr. "Old School Books" is a reprint series of black pulp novels originally published between the mid 1950s and the 1970s.
Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a new biography of the former slave, writer, and abolitionist by Pulitzer Prize-winning author William McFeely. The book fills in the many gaps and silences in all three of Douglass's autobiographies.