A Stranger in the Village: Two Centuries of African-American Travel Writing

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Farah Jasmine Griffin, Cheryl J. Fish
Beacon Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 366 pages
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James Baldwin in Paris. Audre Lorde in the Soviet Union. Langston Hughes in Mexico. June Jordan in the Bahamas. While much of the black experience in America has been characterized by migration, most attention has been focused on the forced migration of the slave trade and the great migration from the South to northern cities. But there is a rich tradition of writing by African-Americans who have traveled abroad in search of new opportunities, political insight, pleasure, and adventure.

From sailors to missionaries to leaders of nationalist movements, this unique collection documents a tradition of African-American travel writing through two centuries. It includes a nineteenth-century sailor's account of his amazing adventures along the Barbary Coast, then "the toughest place on earth", populated with "pirates, high-jackers, ex-slavers, and cut-throats"; the observations of Claude McKay on a newly formed Soviet Union; and Ntozake Shange's musings from Nicaragua on the power of Motown to overcome boundaries of language and custom.

A rich, expansive collection, A Stranger in the Village offers new perspective on what it has meant to be a black American.

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A stranger in the village: two centuries of African-American travel writing

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Griffin (English, Pennsylvania State Univ.) and Fish (English, CCNY) have teamed to compile and edit an interesting and entertainingly disparate group of writings by well-known and not-so-well-known ... Read full review

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45 Colt Aboriginal Accra African Americans African diaspora Alexander Crummell Ameri American Negro among Anangu Angela Davis Anzia Yezierska asked Assam Audre Lorde Ayers Rock Bahamas Basutoland beautiful Beckwourth Billie Holiday Black Power BOBBY SANDS Buffalo Bill bunyip California gold rush called came Cape Town Captain chief church civilized Claude McKay colored come Countee Cullen Crow Nation crowd Cuba culture Delany Dodge City don't EDWARD WILMOT BLYDEN England English Era Bell Thompson eyes Fanny Jackson Coppin feel friends Ghana Gwendolyn Bennett Gwendolyn Brooks Haiti Harlem Renaissance Harry Haywood Hawks Harbor Ijaye Ilorin India Indian Italy Jamaica James Baldwin Jessie Fauset JESSIE REDMON FAUSET Jim Crow Julian Mayfield June Jordan Katherine Dunham Kwame Nkrumah land Langston Hughes Liberia Liberia College live look Louise Beavers Managua Marcus Garvey Martin Delany Martin Luther King Mary Seacole Matthew Henson meeting Mexico missionaries morning Moscow mulatto myself Naples Nat Love nation native Negro never Nicolas Guillen Nigeria night nonviolent resistance Ogun river Okot p'Bitek pan-Africanist Paris Paul Cuffe Petrograd political race racial Richard Wright Russia Santiago de Cuba seemed ship Sierra Leone slavery slaves something South South Africa Soviet Soviet Union spinifex Stavanger streets Tashkent Tasman Sea thing tion told Toni Cade Bambara town trip Uluru Uncle Silas United University of Nairobi Victor Hugo VINCENT CARTER W. E. B. Du Bois went West white Americans William Wells Brown witchetty grubs woman women wrasse Yoruba young

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About the author (1998)

Farrah J. Griffin, author of Who Set You Flowin'?, is associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia.

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