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Gloria Naylor's writing reflects the breadth of the African-American experience. Raised in Harlem, she was an avid reader who could not afford to buy books, but spent as much time as possible in the public library.
Writer Gloria Naylor explores the diversity African-American life. Each of her books depicts a different class setting. She discusses traditional roles for females and the ability of some women to define themselves from within.
Gloria Naylor became one of the first black women writers to have formally studied her literary predecessors. Naylor's books argue that race remains the decisive factor rendering most African Americans powerless.
Gloria Naylor's parents believed they could educate their children and give them a sense worth and work ethic. They wanted their children to release restrictions place on them because of their race. Excerpt from "The Women of Brewster Place."
Gloria Naylor's books always return to a common African-American experience, a uniqueness given literary expression in the African-American language. Naylor discusses the qualities of this language and relates it to "the Blues."
Gloria Naylor's third novel, "Mama Day," draws on Shakespeare's "The Tempest." Naylor asserts that over 99% of her writing is genderless and race-less. The writer is currently working on a screenplay of one of her novels.
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In this program, one of the most astute observers of contemporary African American life discusses the value and difficulty of maintaining an African American identity in a world dominated by whites, urging viewers "to celebrate voraciously that which is yours." The breadth of her visionfrom rural South to urban ghetto to the black middle classis revealed as she reads from The Women of Brewster Place, Linden Hills, and Mama Day, in the last of these calling upon an urbanized boy to look to his African American past for strength. (22 minutes)
Length: 23 minutes
Copyright date: ©1992
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