DANCERS ON THE SHORE by William Melvin Kelley


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This writer (whose A Different Drummer will be remembered) has a unique insight into a segment of American society that is seldom reported without distortion. He is an American Negro and, as he makes clear in his brief preface, he uses his elected role of storyteller to ""ask questions...(to) depict people, not symbols or ideas disguised as people"". In the sixteen pieces collected here, the author tells meaningful stories of people first and only secondarily examines Negro society-- separated by color and self-stratified by skin shade, money and education. Their problems sound suspiciously common to all except that color-consciousness intensifies them. There are the Dunfords, a middle class family suffering typical status tensions who are given more than one story here (and a novel would be an excellent place for them). There are the much poorer Bedlows, who also turn up in more than one story, and who struggle to a survival they accept without always understanding rewarding.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1964
ISBN: 0882581147
Publisher: Doubleday