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A passionate ode to an American mecca, Beloved Harlem is a literary look into the vibrant African-American haven, edited by one of its celebrated native sons. William H. Banks, Jr., award-winning writer and Executive Director of the esteemed Harlem Writers Guild, combines the classics with the contemporary as he showcases some of the best essays, short stories, and novel excerpts inspired by the diversity of Harlem life, from the early twentieth century to the new millennium. Served up in rich prose, the days and nights of black Manhattan come alive in the words of historically famous writers like W.E.B. Dubois, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Dorothy West, Ossie Davis, John Oliver Killens, Grace F. Edwards, and Toni Morrison, along with the works of brilliant newcomers to the neighborhood, including Brian Keith Jackson’s witty examination of identity politics in The Queen of Harlem and “Dreaming in Harlem,” Rosemarie Robatham’s moving tale about a woman at the edge of society who finds sanctuary with a stranger.
From renaissance through tough times to revitalization, this triumphant homage gives Harlem the historical perspective it so rightly deserves. Beloved Harlem is a bountiful collection and welcome addition to the libraries of readers who are either already in love with Harlem or ready to take the fall.