on June 8, 2016
Since reading Stepto's A Home Elsewhere in the year of its publication, I've had the joy of teaching it in my senior seminar courses. The depth of storytelling and analysis across major movements in American and African American literature took us further than we could have imagined. Seeing Obama's stories so methodically and passionately entwined with those of Douglass, Du Bois, Morrison, Stowe, Stepto and others contemporized our reading and helped us look with new insight at the necessity of looking closely at texts and with any luck, finding reflections of ourselves and our shared experiences/
A Home Elsewhere, however, is not just a must-read for academia. I've rarely read a piece of writing that so genuinely brings to life the words, wisdom, and human experience that define some of African American literature's most celebrated authors. Stepto writes as if he is speaking of his dear friends' most intimate experiences, and indeed he is, while he effortlessly invites the reader to join in the quest for "a home elsewhere". You may also wish to read the book as a meditation on the inventive, solitary, and courageous ways black boys raise themselves in restless and hopeless times. However you approach, A Home Elsewhere, prepare to be inspired, encouraged, and right at home among Stepto's brilliant prose.