Meet the Author: Lawrence P. Jackson, "The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960"

February 4, 2012

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Cover of Lawrence P. Jackson's "The Indignant Generation" (detail)

The Indignant Generation is the first narrative history of the neglected but essential period of African American literature between the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights era. The years between these two epochs saw the rise of Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, and many other influential black writers. While these individuals have been duly celebrated, little attention has been paid to the political and artistic milieu in which they produced their greatest works.

Looking at the tumultuous decades surrounding World War II, Lawrence P. Jackson restores the “indignant” quality to a generation of African American writers shaped by Jim Crow segregation, the Great Depression, the growth of American communism, and an international wave of decolonization.

Fully exploring the cadre of key African American writers who triumphed in spite of segregation, Jackson paints a vivid portrait of American intellectual and artistic life in the mid-twentieth century in this award-winning book.

Lawrence P. Jackson is professor of English and African American studies at Emory University. He is the author of Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius and a forthcoming biography of Chester Himes.

This event was co-sponsored by the Newberry Library’s A.C. McClurg Bookstore.

Recorded Saturday, February 4, 2012 at The Newberry Library.