At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Wallace Thurman, August 16

AUGUST 16, 2014

WALLACE THURMAN (1902-1934) 


Location: Downtown Asheville NC

4:00pm - 5:30pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or in Triangle Park @ Sycamore St & Spruce St map link visual link

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)

Passersby are invited to chose from a menu of selections by this American novelist, active during the Harlem Renaissance period between WWI and the Great Depression, who was also a journalist, essayist and publisher of independent newspapers and literary journals. The selection will then be read to them.

Thurman is best known for his novel The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life (1929), which explores discrimination within the black community based on darkness and lightness of skin color.


His other novel, Infants of the Spring (1932) was a razorsharp satire of the Harlem Renaissance and the often overly idealized picture that was painted of it. This roman clef centers on life in "Niggeratti Manor," based on a Harlem rooming house where Thurman had lived with other black artists and writers.

More information about Wallace Thurman can be found at Wikipedia, at Black Past and at Gay For Today, a site honoring the often unknown historical cultural contribution of gay men.  The entire text of The Blacker the Berry can be found here. And a selection of Infants of the Spring can be read here.




 Fire!! A Quarterly Devoted to the Younger Negro Artists
Wallace Thurman
New York: November 1926



FIRE . . . flaming, burning, searing, and penetrating far beneath the superficial items of the flesh to boil the sluggish blood.

FIRE . . . a cry of conquest in the night, warning those who sleep and revitalizing those who linger in the quiet places dozing.

FIRE . . . melting steel and iron bars, poking livid tongues between stone apertures and burning wooden opposition with a cackling chuckle of contempt.

FIRE . . . weaving vivid, hot designs upon an ebon bordered loom and satisfying pagan thirst for beauty unadorned . . . the flesh is sweet and real . . . the soul an inward flush of fire. . . . Beauty? . . . flesh on fire - on fire in the furnace of life blazing. . . .



Fy-ah, Lawd,

Fy-ah gonna burn ma soul!”

 (this poem was co-written with Langston Hughes)

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    Response: australianwriting
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