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Manchild in the Promised Land Paperback – December 27, 2011
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Published during a literary era marked by the ascendance of black writers such as Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Alex Haley, this thinly fictionalized account of Claude Brown’s childhood as a hardened, streetwise criminal trying to survive the toughest streets of Harlem has been heralded as the definitive account of everyday life for the first generation of African Americans raised in the Northern ghettos of the 1940s and 1950s.
When the book was first published in 1965, it was praised for its realistic portrayal of Harlem—the children, young people, hardworking parents; the hustlers, drug dealers, prostitutes, and numbers runners; the police; the violence, sex, and humor.
The book continues to resonate generations later, not only because of its fierce and dignified anger, not only because the struggles of urban youth are as deeply felt today as they were in Brown’s time, but also because of its inspiring message. Now with an introduction by Nathan McCall, here is the story about the one who “made it,” the boy who kept landing on his feet and grew up to become a man.
Daniel A. Poling Brown's Harlem is alive in a way that no black ghetto has heretofore been brought to life between book jackets.
Dick Schaap "Books" This is a magnificent book, not a good book, not an interesting book, a magnificent book....It is a guided tour of hell conducted by a man who broke out.
James Baldwin A tremendous achievement.
Nat Hentoff "Book Week" Sprung from the alley, a rare cat...As a survivor among the dying and the dead, Brown tells it like it was-and like it still is.
Norman Mailer The first thing I ever read which gave me an idea of what it would be like day by day if I'd grown up in Harlem.
Romulus Linney "The New York Times Book Review" It is written with brutal and unvarnished honesty in the plain talk of the people, in language that is fierce, uproarious, obscene and tender.
Tom Wolfe "Manchild in the Promised Land" is Claude Brown's unforgettable epic of growing up as a boy on the streets of Harlem. His Zola-esque gift for slices of life is made all the more striking by his brilliant insights into character and social pressures.
Tom Wolfe "New York Herald Tribune" Incredible! No Negro writer ever told the whole street thing in Harlem: Claude Brown is the first.
William Mathes "Los Angeles Times" Sometimes a unique voice speaks out so clearly and with so much passion that it comes to speak for an era, a generation, a people...and we have to listen.
About the Author
Nathan McCall, author of Makes Me Wanna Holler, has worked as a journalist for The Washington Post. Currently, he teaches in the African American Studies Department at Emory University and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Publisher : Scribner; Reprint edition (December 27, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 145163157X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1451631579
- Lexile measure : 860L
- Item Weight : 12.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.04 x 8.38 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #115,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Just when it seemed that Sonny was headed towards the destructive path his friends were on, he pulled himself out, which is surprising because Sonny was the baddest kid in his community. I think mentors like group home professional, Papanek and his mother paved the way for Sonny to have optimism in life. It was sad to see that when Sonny got out of the boys home, he actually missed being there. Once home, he'd actually get on the "jail bus" to go back to the home, if for nothing else to have a conversation with his mentors.
His young love relationship with a girl that ended up on Heroin was very touching to me. "Nodding" was not something Sonny wanted to see any of his friends or loved ones do and when he sees his brother Pimp nodding for the first time, that literally changed my life. This was and always will be the book that kept me from ever using or sampling drugs. Manchild in the Promised Land I even had an inkling to what street life was about. It's Claude Brown and Manchild in the Promise Land. Kudos to you my brother. May you rest in peace.
She said it's hard for people to want more for themselves if they can't see people like them doing was once great things. She would say you guys are seeking for greatness. She wanted us to see what potential we had. I want to thank her for that. I had always wanted more out of life bc of her.
Now my son is the same age I was in high school. Boy do I feel old.
But it's a well written book for everyone to read.