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Transcription: [00:09:05]
{SPEAKER name="Sarah Fabio"}
Well I also did "Dusk of Dawn" which he calls
an essay toward an autobiography of a race concept,
and because Du Bois lived so long and wrote so well and thorough,
you know, you have him really dipping into
forms during the Harlem Renaissance you can't overlook Alain Locke,
who edited The New Negro,
{SPEAKER name="Brooks B. Robinson"}
Of course
{SPEAKER name="Sarah Fabio"}
and his essays were very important
in terms of aesthetic considerations of new work.
Probably with Alain you started getting essays on art, you know,
on literature and literary essays because
before that time we had very little need to do that kind of essay.
{SPEAKER name="Brooks B. Robinson"}
And a direct point to that one or connected with that one is the question of
whether critiques are essays, how close are critiques to essays?
{SPEAKER name="Sarah Fabio"}
Critical analysis.
{SPEAKER name="Brooks B. Robinson"}
Our literary are a form of literary essays, I think you'd have to say that.
For instance such things as Saunders Redding
who will write things like American Negro Literature,
they became long essays on literature and Jimmy Baldwin
who in his Nobody Knows My Name would do things like the discovery of what it means to be an American,
and he, as Tom says, this precedence is set very early
I mean people are still looking for what does it mean to be American,
where do we have to go in order to fully realize ourselves,
you know, can it be within the context of America, must it be within some other context?
People like Ralph Ellison certainly in his shadow and act
did a very fine book of essays that commented very widely
on things from American literature, all kind of literary treatments.
Richard Wright's Blues, bird watching and jazz.
I mean he just runs the gamut of possibilities.
{SPEAKER name="Brooks B. Robinson"}
And something I- I'd like to [[?]] if you will, to talk a little bit about some more contemporary essayists.
{SPEAKER name="Sarah Fabio"}
You certainly can't overlook Malcom X, who does do some essays,
as does Eldridge Cleaver and a whole group of people
who are very different or not that different from maybe David Walker and his Appeal.
{SPEAKER name="Brooks B. Robinson"}
Yeah, and one thing I'd like to say that is probably one of the more useful contributions
to the essay as opposed to any other form in Afro-American writing
is the fact that by being a relatively short piece of work,
the dissemination of it was a lot wider than could be anticipated for longer novels
and other forms because many of the essays

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