This section presents a sampling of work by well-known figures such as Nikki Giovanni, Haki R. Madhubuti and Clarence Major, along with others such as Arthur Bose, Alvin Aubert, and Lance Jeffers.
The titles and cover designs suggest the ways in which these books fit into a broad Black Arts aesthetic.
Also included is Betcha Ain’t, a collection of poems by inmates at the Attica State Correctional Facility in New York state. In 1971 Attica had been the site of a major rebellion against inhumane conditions. The volume’s editor Celes Tisdale taught a poetry workshop at Attica, and wrote of the participants, “…they touched me through their poems and taught me new meanings of freedom and dignity.” Randall and other editors thought it particularly important that the voices of African American inmates be heard through the medium of poetry.
Additional items from exhibition:
Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee). Book of Life. Detroit: Broadside Press, 1973.
Clarence Major. The Cotton Club. Detroit: Broadside Press, 1972.