ALL IS WELL: An Autobiography by Julius Lester

ALL IS WELL: An Autobiography

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Is this the man who rode the crest of black militancy with his first book Look Out, Whitey! Black Power's Gon' Get Your Mama? Julius Lester's eleventh book and first memoir traces the spiritual odyssey of a bookish, intellectually gifted middle-class Negro who responded with fright and skepticism to the clenched-fist shouts of Freedom Now! even as he walked with the SNCC battalions in the vanguard of a revolution which forced him to ""become less than Myself."" His inner being found slow self-definition in Shelley, Satire, and Merton, not in the black ghetto which was alien to his upbringing and his sensibilities. Lester admits now that his true struggles were with God and the enormous difficulting of loving (""I was black and sleeping white, as some people in SNCC made me know""), not with the Movement even though he took root in the politicized Sixties, visited Fidel and North Vietnam, became a black folklorist, writer, and teacher. This solemn, deeply introspective book is written in full recognition of ""a weakness of spirit, a fragility of being"" which led him to put in eight years as a failed husband and father. It is also about ""Michele,"" Julius' lifelong female alter ego, the daughter he wanted to be for his mother's sake. An improbable book to place alongside Co Tell It On the Mountain and Soul On Ice, yet that is patently the confessional, experiential tradition to which Lester belongs--even though he will tell you that ""At best my talent was a modest one, and I marveled that I had done so much with so little.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1976
Publisher: Morrow