THE OLD SOUTH by Arna Bontemps


Email this review


A dozen or so stories of the South by a native who, when a young man, fled the miseries of Alabama Jim Crow for Chicago's crime-infested South Side, exchanging one jungle for another, and eventually, as he explains in an introductory piece, chose to return home ""to write something about the Negro's awakening and regeneration."" That is the theme of these deliquescent silhouettes -- a naive admirer's encounter with an aging blues singer, a lonesome trumpet player's strange lesson, an incident of protest at a Negro college unsatisfactorily resolved, a vignette of the ole-time spirituality, a tale of a young boy's summer visit with Aunt Clothilde and a redolent lion. Somewhere betwixt Uncle Remus and Richard Wright, perhaps on the closer side of Brer Rabbit than Black Boy.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Dodd, Mead