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Contribution to Book
Excerpt from "Simple's Great African American Joke"
Black American Prose Writers of the Harlem Renaissance (1994)
  • Steven C. Tracy, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Tracy discusses Langston Hughes’s affirmation of “African beauty” and his raising black culture to a higher level of importance. “Very often to understand [Hughes’s] work one must know blues and jazz in particular” (242). Jazz in “Jazz, Jive, and Jam” is regarded as low culture by Simple’s wife, Joyce, and by Dr. Conboy. The story “advocates collective involvement to solve racial problems, through the creative interaction of leaders (purveyors of culture…) and the integrated participation of followers” (253). Hughes believed that African Americans needed to retain their cultural identity.
Publication Date
Harold Bloom
Chelsea House
Citation Information
Steven C. Tracy. "Excerpt from "Simple's Great African American Joke"" New York, NYBlack American Prose Writers of the Harlem Renaissance (1994)
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