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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."
         
   
F
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.

R
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.
A
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.
N
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.
K
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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