UC Berkeley Library

African American Literature & the Arts

[Walker, Alice] Alice Walker: A Portrait in the First Person.

Interview with the author. Walker discusses issues including family violence and the position of black women in America. 30 min.

[Walker, Alice] Alice Walker: Possessing the Secret of Joy.

Alice Walker talks about her novel "Possessing the Secret of Joy" which addresses issues of female genital mutilation, and social protest in Africa and America. Archival footage, dramatized scenes from the book and additional interviews with Gloria Steinem and Barbara Christian and others shed light on Alice Walker's career and issues of womanhood worldwide. Originally produced by SBS, Australia and broadcast on the program Masterpiece on 5/31/93. Dist.: Films Media Group. 53 min.

[White, Charles] Griots of Imagery: A Comment on the Art of Romare Bearden and Charles White

A presentation on the art of two Afro-American artists who are true African keepers of history and culture or "griots", based on the 1993 exhibition of Romare Bearden and Charles White. Bearden's art is based on his reflections concerning what he called "the prevalence of ritual" in African-American life. White's art reflects his concern with the struggle of Black Americans to transcend the vissicitudes of American life. 28 min.

[Wideman, John] John Wideman: A Conversation with John Wideman.

Wideman candidly discusses the dilemma of the committed African American intellectual torn between the urban underclass and a predominantly white, middle class literary audience. He writes because "African Americans have to carry alternative versions of reality in our heads and the model for doing that exists in art." 26 min.
Full-text review from: ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Librariesweb web sites: Description from California Newsreel catalog

[Wilson, August] August Wilson: A Conversation with August Wilson.

The playwright, August Wilson, describes his role as passing down the practical and spiritual wisdom of the African American community and his plays and writings. He expounds upon the influence of black traditions like storytelling and blues music in contributing to his plays. 22 min.
web web sites: Description from California Newsreel catalogFull-text review from: ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

[Wright, Richard] Richard Wright: Black Boy.

Biographical sketch of the Afro-American writer, Richard Wright. Includes a discussion of his literary works and the times in which he lived, weaving together dramatic recreations from Wright's work and recollections of friends and scholars. It follows Wright's journey from a childhood of poverty through the Chicago Black cultural renaissance of the 1930's, the Communist Party during the Depression, the MacCarthy-era, the American expatriate community in 1950's Paris and his final years. 1994. 87 min.

[Wright, Richard] Richard Wright: Writing is His Weapon

Discusses the life, work, and ideas of the black American novelist Richard Wright. Born to poor sharecroper parents in the deep South in 1908, this self-taught author, whose novels focus on the harsh life experiences of Afro-Americans refused to let the obstacles of segregation, limited educational facilities and racism discourage him. 1995. 25 min.
African Americans and the Educational System

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