FPLD Notable African American Novels
Annotation:Caldonia Townsend is an educated black slaveowner, the widow of a well-loved young farmer named Henry, whose parents had bought their own freedom, and then freed their son, only to watch him buy himself a slave as soon as he had saved enough money. Although a fair and gentle master by the standards of the day, Henry Townsend had learned from former master about the proper distance to keep from one's property. After his death, his slaves wonder if Caldonia will free them.
Annotation:Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
Annotation:Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.
Annotation:At 36 Savannah Jackson seems to have it made. She's attractive, she's got a job in TV, money in the bank and a nice home, in fact she has everything she needs except a man. In their different ways, each of her three best friends face exactly the same problem.
Annotation:Seven years ago, Zella Grisham came home to find her man, Harry Tangelo, in bed with her friend. The weekend before, $6.8 million had been stolen from Rutgers Assurance Corp., whose offices are across the street from where Zella worked. Zella didn't remember shooting Harry, but she didn't deny it either. The district attorney was inclined to call it temporary insanity-until the police found $80,000 from the Rutgers heist hidden in her storage space.
Annotation:Wideman’s novel is disguised as the project of a contemporary African American novelist,Thomas, who undertakes writing a life of Fanon. The result is an electrifying mix of perspectives, traveling from Manhattan to Paris to Algeria to Pittsburgh. Part whodunit, part screenplay, part love story, Fanon introduces the French film director Jean-Luc Godard to the ailing Mrs. Wideman in Homewood and chases the meaning of Fanon’s legacy.
Annotation:Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935.
Annotation:Precious Jones, an illiterate sixteen-year-old, has up until now been invisible to the father who rapes her and the mother who batters her and to the authorities who dismiss her as just one more of Harlem's casualties. But then Precious, pregnant with a second child by her father, meets a determined and radical teacher.
Annotation:Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South.
Annotation:Linden Hills is an exclusive private residential estate in America. Intended as a symbol of black equality, it is in fact an infernal place, and the layers of hypocrisy and self-destruction which are its foundation become exposed.
Annotation:The story opens with a body found on the roadside by Julia Carlyle and her university president husband, Lemaster It turns out to be an ex-lover of Julia's and a possible blackmailer of Lemaster. What ensues is a gripping tale of race, murder, politics, conspiracy theory and secret societies that revolves around a 30-year-old case involving a dead white girl and an accused, now dead, black attacker.
Annotation:The novel tells the story of life in the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast's black bourgeoisie. Within this inner circle of "blue-vein society," we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of the loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from "a whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions." Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to be married to Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks over the Oval.
Annotation:Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her.
Annotation:Each night Pecola prayed for blue eyes. In her eleven years, no one had ever noticed Pecola. But with blue eyes, she thought, everything would be different. She would be so pretty that her parents would stop fighting. Her father would stop drinking. Her brother would stop running away. If only she could be beautiful. If only people would look at her. When someone finally did, it was her father, drunk. He raped her. Winner of The Nobel Prize in Literature Show More Show Less
Annotation: Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose
Annotation: The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.