Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas

Visible Man The Life of Henry Dumas Henry Dumas was a writer who did not live to see most of his fiction and poetry in print A son of Sweet Home Arkansas and Harlem he devoted himself to the creation of a black literary cos

  • Title: Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas
  • Author: Jeffrey B. Leak
  • ISBN: 9780820328706
  • Page: 316
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Henry Dumas 1934 1968 was a writer who did not live to see most of his fiction and poetry in print A son of Sweet Home, Arkansas, and Harlem, he devoted himself to the creation of a black literary cosmos, one in which black literature and culture were windows into the human condition While he certainly should be understood in the context of the cultural and political mHenry Dumas 1934 1968 was a writer who did not live to see most of his fiction and poetry in print A son of Sweet Home, Arkansas, and Harlem, he devoted himself to the creation of a black literary cosmos, one in which black literature and culture were windows into the human condition While he certainly should be understood in the context of the cultural and political movements of the 1960s Black Arts, Black Power, and Civil Rights his writing, and ultimately his life, were filled with ambiguities and contradictions.Dumas was shot and killed in 1968 in Harlem months before his thirty fourth birthday by a white transit policeman under circumstances never fully explained After his death he became a kind of literary legend, but one whose full story was unknown A devoted cadre of friends and later admirers from the 1970s to the present pushed for the publication of his work Toni Morrison championed him as an absolute genius Amiri Baraka, a writer not quick to praise others, claimed that Dumas produced actual art, real, man, and stunning Eugene Redmond and Quincy Troupe heralded Dumas s poetry, short stories, and work as an editor of little magazines.With Visible Man, Jeffrey B Leak offers a full examination of both Dumas s life and his creative development Given unprecedented access to the Dumas archival materials and numerous interviews with family, friends, and writers who knew him in various contexts, Leak opens the door to Dumas s rich and at times frustrating life, giving us a layered portrait of an African American writer and his coming of age during one of the most volatile and transformative decades in American history.

    One thought on “Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas”

    1. Henry Dumas is one of the most underrated African American writers. The short stories and poems he wrote during the formative years of the Black Arts Movement--start with "Ark of Bones" and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken"--rank at the very top of the literary production of that complicated and chaotic era. Unfortunately, only a few of Dumas's works were published during his lifetime (and then mostly in student magazines from Rutgers University). He's been receiving steady attention from critics of [...]

    2. I am a true devotee to the work of Henry Dumas. A brilliant, albeit troubled poet, his work is as Amiri Baraka proclaimed, "real, man, and stunning." One need only read his short story "Ark of Bones" to recognize that he or she is in the presence of a true & rare talent. For this reason, I was so pleased to find out that an in depth biography of the author would be published; before this, you could not find much more than a biographical sketch of his life in an article or book blurb. So, I p [...]

    3. Jeffrey Leak renders the compelling details of Henry Dumas's life with unsentimental clarity and compassion and bits of ironic humor. This chronology of one man's life during the evolution of the U.S. from Jim Crow to the peak of Civil Rights fervor is so engaging on multiple levels of the personal, societal, political, artistic, and economic circumstances of Dumas as man, artist, soldier, husband, father, student, employee, provocateur, adulterer, friend, mentor, adversary, supplicant. His blac [...]

    4. I received this book in the First Book giveaway and devoured it in seven days. Knowing the ending made the reading more poignant as I became aware of a vibrant and talented writer whose life was cut short by the turbulent sixties, perhaps contributed to by his use of substances, but certainly by a (SPOILER ALERT)gunshot fired in a Harlem subway station by a white station officer just weeks after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King. Dr Jeffrey Leak of UNC Charlotte has done an amazing job [...]

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