You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays

HarperAudio. Jan. 2022. 15:19 hrs. ISBN 9780063043886. $29.99. LIT
What is there to say about Hurston that hasn’t already been said? One of the most lauded writers of the 20th century, particularly with regard to her work during the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston defies categorization. The importance of sharing and celebrating her work should not be understated, and this collection of essays (edited by Genevieve West and Henry Louis Gates Jr.) does just that. It spans 35 years of Hurston’s prolific career, allowing listeners to hear her develop as a writer, critic, and archivist of African American art and culture. The collection includes some of her last published works, written during the early years of the civil rights movement. Truly a joy to listen to, the thematically grouped essays cover a breadth of subjects: politics, African folklore, gender, race, and Black art’s significance in American culture. The spectacularly talented narrator Robin Miles imbues these most important works with the gravitas and flair they deserve.
VERDICT The essays and their subject matter are made all the more impactful by the truly moving experience of listening to Miles’s interpretation of Hurston’s words.
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