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The Black Chicago Renaissance$
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Darlene Clark Hine and John McCluskey Jr.

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037023

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037023.001.0001

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The Dialectics of Placelessness and Boundedness in Richard Wright’s and Gwendolyn Brooks’s Fictions

The Dialectics of Placelessness and Boundedness in Richard Wright’s and Gwendolyn Brooks’s Fictions

Crafting the Chicago Black Renaissance’s Literary Landscape

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 5 The Dialectics of Placelessness and Boundedness in Richard Wright’s and Gwendolyn Brooks’s Fictions
Source:
The Black Chicago Renaissance
Author(s):

Elizabeth Schlabach

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037023.003.0005

This chapter talks about how Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks, perhaps the two most famous literary figures of the Black Chicago Renaissance, shared a common struggle to discern a new black consciousness in the physical and metaphoric spaces of Chicago's South Side streets. The chapter analyzes the photographic 12 Million Black Voices of Wright and Edwin Rosskam, as well as Wright's last novel, The Outsider, to show how he depicted the confining realities of the kitchenette apartment along with the segregated, overcrowded city pavement of black neighborhoods. It compares Wright's attempt to define and defy these urban realities to poet Gwendolyn Brooks' Street in Bronzeville and Maud Martha that similarly elucidated the intense material deprivation of African Americans.

Keywords:   Richard Wright, 12 Million Black Voices, The Outsider, Gwendolyn Brooks, Street in Bronzeville, Maud Martha, African Americans, Black Chicago Renaissance, South Side streets, black consciousness

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