African American Journalists: Autobiography as Memoir and ManifestoPaperback
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- Publisher: Scarecrow Press
- Format: Paperback | 146 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 211mm x 15mm | 204g
- Publication date: 30 July 2009
- Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
- ISBN 10: 0810869306
- ISBN 13: 9780810869301
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
In the last decade of the 20th century, during a time when African Americans were starting to take inventory of the gains of the civil rights movement and its effects on the lives of black professionals in the public sphere, the memoirs of several journalists were published, a number of which became national bestsellers. African American Journalists examines select autobiographies written by African American journalists in order to explore the relationship between race, class, gender, and journalism practice. At the heart of this study is the contention that contemporary memoirs written by African American journalists are quasi-political documents-manifestos written in reaction to and against the forces of institutionalized racism in the newsroom. The memoirs featured in this study include Jill Nelson's Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience, Nathan McCall's Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America, Jake Lamar's Bourgeois Blues: An American Memoir, and Patricia Raybon's My First White Friend: Confessions on Race, Love, and Forgiveness. The exploration of these works increases our understanding of the problems that members of other underrepresented groups may face in the workplace.
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Calvin L. Hall is assistant professor and faculty fellow in the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University.
African American Journalists is highly recommended for upper level undergraduates, graduate students, and those who are contemplating a career in journalism or communication studies. College & Research Libraries (C&RL), May 2010 Calvin L. Hall argues that autobiography may be even more important for African Americans because 'the genre has been recognized and celebrated as a powerful means of speaking publicly about ... what it means to be black in America'... It builds on the idea that Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and other journalists used autobiography as another forum for advocacy. Journalism History, Winter 2010 Although the form, organization and vocabulary reveal this work as a lightly edited dissertation, its point is strong. These autobiographical narratives with their intense personal feelings, do speak truth to power and can change the culture in newsrooms, offices and classrooms. They also should change what it viewed as newsworthy and what is missing from coverage. American Journalism