Very Good. Cooper, Clarence L. Black! . Evanston: Regency Books, 1963. 155pp. Mass market paperback. Book condition: Very Good. Light rubbing to covers, especially at extremities. Contains the two short novels Yet Princes Follow and Not We Many.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-12-16 An unknown African American novelist whose life took an unfortunate plunge (ironically after enthusiastic reviews for his first work, The Scene, in 1961), Cooper spent much of his life in jail, where he used the time to write. Black! is a collection of three novellas, originally dubbed "pulp fiction" upon their low-budget publication in the early 1960s. These works have now attained a loftier status as cultural artifacts that reveal much about the experiences of many African Americans in the early days of the civil rights movement. In "The Dark Messenger," the longest selection, a young, very dark-skinned reporter for a popular "Negro paper" is sickened to learn of the corruption and dishonesty at every level of the media business. In the most comic piece, "Yet Princes Follow," a simple fellow, Robert Joe Teese, "the biggest, blackest, ugliest man anybody ever saw," lets the goodness in his soul shine through the shady goings-on in the numbers racket that he helps to run. And "Not We Many," in first-person narration, tells of a young man with a white mother confronting his doubts about the Islamic beliefs and practices he has turned to in confusion over his racial identity. All three stories deliver direct messages about the necessity for the individual to think for him- or herself, showing that Cooper, who died in 1979, ultimately upheld the most American of values. (Feb.) FYI: Black! is part of Norton's Old School Books series of reprinted pulp fiction by black authors. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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