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Defining Ourselves

Black Writers in the 90s

Elizabeth Nunez and Brenda M. Greene

Defining Ourselves offers perspectives on black literature in the 1990s by twenty-nine black writers and critics, including Paule Marshall, Amiri Baraka, John A. Williams, Ishmael Reed, Walter Mosley, Marita Golden, Thulani Davis, Jill Nelson, Arthur Flowers, Lorna Goodison, Bebe Moore Campbell, Brent Staples, Terry McMillan, Stanley Crouch, Houston A. Baker Jr., Barbara Christian, Karla FC Holloway, and William W. Cook. The essays in this book are based on papers presented at the Fourth National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, which focused on the question of whether or not black literature in the 90s is experiencing a renaissance to end all renaissances. In addition to this topic, this book addresses the issues of the universality of black literature, the changing tastes and concerns of black readers, and the politics of publishing.