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Along the Streets of BronzevilleBlack Chicago's Literary Landscape$
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Elizabeth Schroeder Schlabach

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037825

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037825.001.0001

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(p.94) Chapter 5 Kitchenettes
Along the Streets of Bronzeville

Elizabeth Schroeder Schlabach

University of Illinois Press

This chapter continues the investigation of the two authors with a comparison of Wright's 1941 photographic essay 12 Million Black Voices and his final literary publication, The Outsider, set in Chicago and Harlem, to Brooks' 1945 collection of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville, and her only novel, Maud Martha (1953). The chapter argues that migration to the city and its unkept promise of freedom left African Americans on Chicago's South Side suspended between two planes of existence. The harshest points of this suspension were the one-bedroom kitchenette apartments that began to burst as more migrants poured into Bronzeville. Through their work, Brooks and Wright illustrates an acute consciousness of the symbiotic relationship between the streets of Bronzeville and opportunities for cultural production.

Keywords:   Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, 12 Million Black Voices, The Outsider, A Street in Bronzeville, Maud Martha, African American urban life, kitchenette apartments

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