Library: Classic Books by African-American Authors | Chanhassen’s review


Summer is a great time not only to read bestsellers, but also to delve into classics, such as these books by African-American authors. Many of these titles are also available digitally through cloudLibrary or RB Digital.

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison. Beloved is the story of Morrison’s masterpiece about Sethe, its protagonist. Sethe was born a slave and fled to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many horrible things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, unnamed dead, whose gravestone is carved with one word: Beloved.

“The color violet” by Alice Walker. The story of two sisters – one missionary in Africa and the other woman-child living in the South – who maintain their loyalty and mutual trust through time, distance and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

“I know why the caged bird is singing” by Maya Angelou. Superbly told, with the poet’s knack for language and observation, Angelou’s autobiographical tale describes his childhood growing up in black in Arkansas – a world most Americans ignore. Angelou recounts his difficult childhood and his years as a young adult. Raised by her extended African American family, she endured racism, rape and teenage pregnancy, overcoming adversity to become a respected educator and author.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin. Baldwin’s novel portrays the troubled romance between young lovers Tish and Fonny, who become engaged and plan to marry. When Fonny is arrested and jailed, their families work to clear his name and secure his release. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness inevitably intertwine, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and so deeply aware that they are unforgettablely rooted in the American psyche.

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison. An important step in American literature, and a book that continues to interest readers since its publication in 1952. The anonymous narrator of the novel describes his childhood in a black community in the South, his attendance at a Negro college from which he was expelled. , his stint in New York and becoming the chief spokesperson for the Harlem branch of the “Brotherhood,” and retreating amid the violence and confusion in the basement lair of the Invisible Man that he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty style tour de force.

“Kinship” by Octavia Butler. The visionary author’s masterpiece takes us – along with his black female hero – through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of yesterday’s racism, sexism and white supremacy. and today. Dana, a modern black woman, celebrates her 26th birthday with her new husband when she is abruptly torn from her home in California and transported to the prewar south. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, drowns and Dana is summoned to save him. Dana is repeatedly brought back in time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay gets longer, harder, and more dangerous until it’s not certain that Dana’s life is ending, well before she had a chance to start.

“Native son” by Richard Wright. From the start, Bigger Thomas was heading for the prison. It could have been an assault or minor theft; by chance, it was for murder and rape. “Native Son” tells the story of a young black man caught in a downward spiral after killing a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright’s powerful novel is a merciless reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by downtown dwellers across the country and what it means to be black in America.

“Their eyes looked at God” by Zora Neale Hurston. Describing one of the first strong black women in 20th century literature, Hurston’s story of Janie Crawford draws the reader into a timeless world of love, struggle, and self-exploration. Janie’s quest for love and fulfillment is perhaps more powerful to modern audiences than her original readership. Out of print for nearly 30 years – in large part due to initial audience rejection of its strong black female protagonist – the Hurston classic has since its 1978 reissue perhaps been the most read and acclaimed novel in canon canon. African-American literature.


While all library events are canceled, the library is hosting virtual storytelling hours on Mondays at 10:30 am and 6:30 pm, and again on Wednesdays at 10:30 am The library also has other great programs. online for children and adults such as:

Fantasy Dragon Eggs “Take and Make” program: Until Friday July 10. Explore dragons around the world while reading at home and creating dragon craft. The kit will include book recommendations, dragon myths, and a dragon egg creation project. 5 years and over. Kits including everything you need to craft this “Take and Make” craft will be available while supplies last.

Schiffelly puppets: Until Sunday July 12. Comedic situations, original puppet characters, and life lessons are added to classic fairy tales to create an action-packed entertainment extravaganza. Check out the Facebook event at for more information.

Rad Zoo: From Monday July 13 to Sunday July 19. The Reptile & Amphibian Discovery (RAD) Zoo will have a fun presentation with all kinds of creatures and facts. Who knows what you’ll see – there might be turtles, lizards, snakes and maybe a tiny alligator! Check out the Facebook event at for more information.

Carver County Live! Super Storytime, Stone Soup craft, “Take and Make”: From Monday July 13 to Friday July 17. In honor of Super Story Time: Gobbling Up a Good Story, we’ve got special crafts including making your own puppet, kettle, and vegetables (to help you with your own tale of the ‘Soup of stone “). Kits including everything you need to make this Take and Make craft will be available during the curbside pickup in all library locations while supplies last

Wacky and Wonderful Treasure Hunt: From Tuesday July 14 to Monday July 20. For 6-12 year olds. Discover and share the weird, wonderful, everyday things in your life. Check out the Facebook event at for more information.

Storytelling walk: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday July 15 at Victoria Library. Enjoy a self-guided StoryWalk with your family this summer and take a walk to read a story. Pages from a picture book are displayed along a walking path! StoryWalk events will be canceled due to inclement weather. For more information on the location of the Storywalk, please call 952-442-3050.

Virtual Escape Room, Dr. Jones and the Lost Grail Digital Escape: From Thursday July 16 to Wednesday July 22. It is a story of our own creation with the greatest respect for the inspiration provided by the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. We hope you have fun! This escape room is for teens and adults alike, but all are welcome to play the game. Children may need help solving the puzzles. The escape room can be completed as a group or on your own. Check out the Facebook event at for more information.

Capture the moment with collage: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, July 16. Collage is the wonderful, tactile, and expressive art of using pieces of paper, fabric, and other materials to create a mosaic-like scene. In these interesting times that we live in, please join us in working with an instructor artist as we take charge of the things we find around us (take-out receipts, junk mail, magazines, mask sewing scraps, coins). leaves) and capture a snapshot of the world. You will receive an email with instructions on how and where to register for this online course before it begins.

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