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A Treasury of African-American Christmas Stories (Volume II) Hardcover – November, 1999
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Collier-Thomas' inspiring collection of 18 stories and 2 poems explores the significance of Christmas to African Americans and their embrace of Christianity, with its hope of a better afterlife and recognition of long-suffering faith. Like her previous compilation, this book offers a distinct African American orientation on the holiday and the religion it celebrates. The works, originally published in black newspapers and periodicals between 1882 and 1939, embrace traditional themes but don't shrink from timely and controversial concerns about slavery, lynching, miscegenation, and spiritual hypocrisy in the context of celebrating the Christian season. Some pieces reconstruct the traditional Christmas images of a jolly, white Santa Claus or a white Christ. Collier-Thomas introduces each piece with a short sketch of the author and the work. The collection includes stories by famous authors, such as Pauline Hopkins, Augustus M. Hodges, and John Henrik Clarke, and relatively unknown authors, such as Lelia Plummer, Eva S. Purdy, and Bruce Reynolds. Vanessa Bush
About the Author
Bettye Collier-Thomas is a professor of history and director of the Center for African-American History and Culture at Temple University. She is the editor of A Treasury of African-American Christmas Stories (Holt, 0-8050-5122-8, $20.00).
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Top customer reviews
The stories they share and their backgrounds are diverse. You have authors who were journalists, actors, educators, activists and radicals. Many of them were born into slavery and all of them suffered through the sickness of racism. Most of them were the leaders of their day such as Ida B. Wells and T. Thomas Fortune.
How are these stories different from other Christmas tales? All of the stories were serialized in Black periodicals and newspapers.They address social and economic inequities (for all people) in their society . A persistent theme of the uplift of the race by those who have the resources is a continual thread throughout the book. You will also find some amusing tales that will give you a great belly laugh! Christmas is the background but our authors stress the need for social and economic uplift with compassion for the poor.
The book gives us a brief biography of the writer, a synopsis of the story and reviews the historical context. I liked the brief introduction but felt some of the information took away from the stories themselves. Such a treasury is a must to have under the Christmas tree, a gift for Kwanzaa and as a present throughout the year. Bettye Collier-Thomas has rescued a genre of fiction long forgotten in the Black literary tradition.