One of the most remarkable autobiographies of our time, Manchild in the Promised Land is a seminal work of modern literature published during a literary era marked by the ascendance of black writers like Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Alex Haley. This thinly fictionalized account of Claude Brown’s childhood as a hardened, streetwise criminal trying to survive the toughest streets of Harlem has been heralded as the definitive account of everyday life for African Americans raised in the northern ghettos of the 1940s and ’50s.
When the book was first published in 1965, it was praised for its realistic portrayal of Harlem - the children, young people, and hardworking parents; the hustlers, drug dealers, prostitutes, and numbers runners; the police; the violence, sex, and humor. The book continues to resonate generations later, not only because of its fierce and dignified anger, not only because the struggles of urban youth are as deeply felt today as they were in Brown’s time, but also because of its inspiring message.
Now with an introduction by Nathan McCall, here is the story about the one who “made it", the boy who kept landing on his feet and became a man.
"A tremendous achievement." (James Baldwin)
"Manchild in the Promised Land is Claude Brown’s unforgettable epic of growing up as a boy on the streets of Harlem. His Zola-esque gift for slices of life is made all the more striking by his brilliant insights into character and social pressures." (Tom Wolfe)
"The first thing I ever read which gave me an idea of what it would be like day by day if I’d grown up in Harlem." (Norman Mailer)
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Growing up bad really?
The development of the main character and his concern for his brother pimp
Go Tell it on the Mountain because of the importance of family
his ability to trigger emotions in the listener
the mother to understand why she did and said certain things
Superb performance of an urban classic
- Readin' and Rockin'