Nigger Heaven

Nigger Heaven

Book - 2000
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Opening on a scene of tawdry sensationalism, this novel shifts decisively to a world of black middle-class respectability, defined by intellectual values, professional ambition, and an acute consciousness of class and racial identity.
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2000
Edition: 1st Illinois pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780252068607
Branch Call Number: FICTION VANVECHTE 2000
Characteristics: xxxix, 286 p. ; 19 cm


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Jan 27, 2014

Yeah, I know that title is off putting. If you're not already on edge, it was written by a white guy. Carl Van Vechten, however, was a tireless promoter of black writers/artists and this is a noble, if misguided attempt to portray black life in Harlem. On its release, it split black critics and prominent writers (DuBois, Weldon Johnson) and it still remains controversial. Years before Tarantino polarized audiences with his liberal use of the n-word, this guys was doing it. The book is more interesting now as a cultural time capsule than as literature. The blues and spiritual song lyrics interspersed throughout were written by Langston Hughes.


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