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Creative Quotations from . . .
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
(1950-____) born on
Sep 16
US educator, critic, author. He is the W.E.B. DuBois Professor of Humanities at Harvard University; won the American Book Award for "The Signifying Monkey."
I want to be black, to know black, to luxuriate in whatever I might be calling blackness at any particular time, but to do so in order to come out on the other side, to experience a humanity that is neither colorless nor reducible to color.

The act of writing for the slave constituted the act of creating a public, historical self, not only the self of the individual author but also the self, as it were, of the race.
It is the black poet who bridges the gap in tradition, who modifies tradition when experience demands it, who translates experience into meaning and meaning into belief.
We must begin to understand the nature of intertextuality . . . the manner by which texts poems and novels respond to other texts. After all, all cats may be black at night, but not to other cats.
Insofar as we, critics of the black tradition, master our craft, we serve both to preserve our own traditions and to shape their direction. All great writers demand great critics.
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Published Sources for the above Quotations:
F: In "Famous Black Quotations," ed. Janet Cheatham Bell, 1995.
R: "Frederick Douglass and the Language of the Self." in "The Yale Review," Summer 1981.
A: "Dis and Dat: Dialect and Descent," in "Afro-American Literature," by Dester Fisher and Robert B. Stepto, 1979.
N: "Literary Theory and the Black Tradition," "Figures in Black," 1989.
K: "Literary Theory and the Black Tradition," "Figures in Black," 1989.

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