Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota



Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota

This edition

"Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota" . Ed. Alexs D. Pate, Pamela R. Fletcher, and J. Otis Powell‽ [sic]. Saint Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, with the Minnesota Humanities Center, 2015. xiv+286 pp.

Table of contents

● Alexs Pate / Introduction

● Philip Bryant / Birth of the Cool: Minnesota
● Gordon Parks / Excerpt [From “A Choice of Weapons”]
● Roy McBride / Poetryapolis
● Tish Jones / Tracks
● Philip Bryant / Ottawa, NM, Cemetery—1992
● Susan J. Smith-Grier / Coming to Minnesota
● Mary Moore Easter / Anybody But Me on Grand Avenue
● E.G. Bailey / Afrika
● Frank B. Wilderson III

● Lloyd Brown / God’s Chosen People
● Etheridge Knight / Apology for Apostasy?
● Gabrielle Civil / Excerpt [from “Swallow the Fish”]
● Angela Shannon / Migrations
● David Haynes / Glitter Lions
● G. E. Patterson / Autobiographia
● Mary Moore Easter / Shameless Lutherans
● Philip Byrant / St. Peter, Minnesota: Barry Harris
● Shá Cage / Granny’s Story

● Alexs Pate / Excerpt [from “The Slide]
● Shá Cage / Our Grandmothers
● J. Otis Powell‽ / Tongue Swallow
● Conrad Balfour / Christmas Tale
● Andrea Jenkins / Creating Change
● Shannon Gibney / All the Information We Have
● Kim Hines / Excerpt [from “I Believe I’ll Run On … and See What the End’s Gonna Be”]
● Etheridge Knight / As You Leave Me
● Anthony Peyton Porter / Home Delivery

● J. Otis Powell‽ / When a Cat Goes Out
● Louis Alemayehu / Heartsong for Our Father
● Tish Jones / OnScene
● Shannon Gibney / Love Across the Middle Passage
● David Grant / It’s Like a Miracle
● Rohan Preston / At the End of Myself
● Roy McBride / Lilac Week
● Carolyn Holbrook and Steven Holbrook / The Bank Robbery
● Evelyn Fairbanks / Mama

● Taylor Gordon / Excerpt [from “Born to Be”]
● Kofi Bobby Hickman / Kwame J. C. McDonald
● Kemet Imhotep / My Rites Of Passage
● Taiyon Coleman / Decay
● Rohan Preston / I Hear Myself Say (MMA)
● Craig Green / The Night Before
● Kofi Bobby Hickman / The Brawl in St. Paul
● Louis Alemayehu / Akhenaten’s Dream: Sunrise!
● Laurie Carlos / The Pork Chop Wars
● Nellie Stone Johnson / Off to the Big City

● Carolyn Holbrook / Stones and Sticks
● Arleta Little / Who Would You Be?
● Davida Adedjouma / In the City, Homelessness
● Clarence White / Smart Enough for Ford
● Kyra Crawford-Calvert / Zombies, by Andre Lord
● Anthony Peyton Porter / Sabotage
● Gabrielle Civil / On Performing “Berlitz”
● E.G. Bailey / Liberia
● G. E. Patterson / Job

● G. E. Patterson / Mary
● Pamela R. Fletcher / Bad
● Roy McBride / Inland Sea
● Philip Bryant / Preston’s Dream: Version No. I
● Ralph Remington / To Be Black in America
● Libby Green / Don’t Blink
● Rohan Preston / Unbuckling
● Louis Porter II / Reminders
● Taiyon Coleman / The Stagnant Reassurance in the Communication of the Dead
● Angela Shannon / Carrying Home
● J. Otis Powell‽ / Anniversary
● Pamela R. Fletcher / Lifeline


About the anthology

• "A rich Minnesota literary tradition is brought into the spotlight in this groundbreaking collection of incisive prose and powerful poetry by forty- three black writers who educate, inspire, and reveal the unabashed truth. Historically significant figures tell their stories, demonstrating how much and how little conditions have changed: Gordon Parks hitchhikes to Bemidji, Taylor Gordon describes his first day as a chauffeur in St. Paul, and Nellie Stone Johnson insists on escaping the farm for high school in Minneapolis. A profusionof modern voices-- poet Tish Jones, playwright Kim Hines, and memoirist Frank Wilderson-- reflect the dizzying, complex realities of the present. Showcasing the unique vision and reality of Minnesota's African American community from the Harlem renaissance through the civil rights movement, from the black power movement to the era of hip- hop and the time of America's first black president, this compelling anthology provides an explosion of artistic expression about what it means to be a Minnesotan" (WorldCat).

Reviews and notices of anthology

• Goetzman, Amy. "Alexs Pate's 'Blues Vision' Anthology Fills a Missing Place." "" 5 Feb. 2015. Web.
Pate, winner of two Minnesota Book Awards and author of "Amistad" and "Losing Absolom", mentions "The Butterfly Tree: An Anthology of Black Writing from the Upper Midwest" (1985) as a predecessor work from thirty years ago, but he felt an "updated book" was needed, "especially since black voices hadn't been afforded a greater place in other regional collections." Pate notes that in 1981, when he moved to Minnesota from Philadelphia, black people made up only 1.5% of the population: the proportion has increased now but the African American presence is still much thinner than in many other regions of the US.

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