Analysis Of Giovanni 's Room By James Baldwin Essay

842 Words Sep 19th, 2015 4 Pages
While searching for new black authors to read, I noticed that a few have written stories with white protagonists. Though I would not call this trend prevalent, in fact the word ‘trend’ itself is ambitious, it has become more noticeable to me in recent months. And to be sure, this dichotomy is not a novel occurrence. In researching the topic, I discovered prolific authors I’ve never heard of such as Frank Yerby - which amazes to me, as he was the first African American writer to earn a million dollars by writing alone - who was condemned for his lack of black characters in his historical novels. After adding such individuals to my ‘to read list’, I wrestled with my own thoughts on the subject.

I must admit, my initial reaction when faced with this phenomenon was one of chagrin. When my sister and I read Giovanni’s Room, a book written by James Baldwin in 1956, we were put out by the white male lead. Literary society lauds James Baldwin as one of the paragons of African American literature, and justly so, but due to his reputation we expected a book about the African American experience. I especially rallied around the bisexual themes of the book, for it seemed impossible that a book about a gay, African American man in the 50 's existed. By me, it was unheard of. Unfortunately, my disbelief was warranted after all (though for the time, a published novel about a white homosexual male is shocking as well) and I was left feeling disappointed throughout the read.

How, in good…

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