Book Review Colored People English Literature Essay Free Essay

Research reveals that there are assorted people who have found the African American community animating. In fact, some of them have done research on it, and as a consequence, they have come up with docudramas that discuss assorted facets of the community. Some of these writers have described the community in footings of its religion, while others have dwelled on its cultural and historical background. As one of the people who find the community interesting, Henry Louis Gates Jr. has done an extended research and he came up with a authoritative book which is more of a memoir than a scholar literature. This paper will be an essay that summarizes this memoir and in analysing its context, it seeks to discourse the most critical facets of the African American community as described in “ Colored Peoples: A Memoir. ”


About the Writer

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Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a bookman and one of the most powerful academic voices in the United States of America. In his composing calling, he is recognized as one of the most extended research workers on the Afro-american history and literature. In add-on, he is respected for developing and spread outing the Afro-american surveies plan at Harvard University. Furthermore, in the American history, he is honored for his academic accomplishment as one of the first black Americans to hold received a PhD from Cambridge University. As records show, he has been an active author in his life and therefore, he managed to come up with many books, articles, essays and reappraisals which discuss issues that largely tackle the African American community. As a consequence, he has ended up having several awards and honorary grades.

About the Book

“ Colored People ” is a text wherein Gates recorded his past life as he was turning up in the 1950s and 60s in Piedmont, West Virginia. As he explained in his treatment, Piedmont is an immigrant on the job category town, and during this clip, life was hard for the Black Americans. Harmonizing to Gates, the lone work available for them to gain a life was at the local paper factory where they were lading trucks ( 1994 ) .

As he grew up in this town, Gates recalled that he was devastated at the age of 12 by assorted issues. The major thing that affected him most was the status of his female parent. As he explained, she suffered a depressive upset, and as a consequence of this, he was forced to fall in a Baptist church where he urgently pursued a restrictive fundamentalism. For old ages, he yearned for the blessing from his male parent. However, as written in the book, he was a determined male child and he passionately embraced the power of the black Americans in the mid-1960s ( 1994 ) . Harmonizing to Gates, his male parent was a difficult individual to delight who perceived the inkinesss as weak and was ever hard on them.

Critical Aspect of the African American Community: Religion

As many can deduce from “ Colored People, ” Gates respected the function of the church in the life of Americans during the in-between decennaries of the twentieth century. To him, issues that concern segregation, alcohol addiction, public address and music are all related. He believed that if one needs to understand them efficaciously, they should look into the church and through its screens, find an penetration to the issues ( Gates, 1994 ) . In order for him to do the book more clear, Gates employed alone accomplishments that involve the usage of wit, paradox and indirection. However, in his narrative, the reader can feel a boastful and dissing tone. However, this does non do the book less clear in any manner even when it is compared to the other literatures and scholar book that discuss similar facets of the African American civilization.

“ Colored People ” is a narrative that depicts the rational, political, sexual and emotional waking up experienced by a immature adult male. In this text, Gates has revealed his first-class accomplishments in authorship, and with the aid of memorable incidents such as his find that his female parent led a open uping civil rights March, he absolutely brought out these issues. He has besides smartly laid out the societal and emotional topography of a universe switching from segregation. From colored to Negro to black, Gates evokes a water under the bridge clip and topographic point as he moves from his birth in 1949 to 1969, a clip when he went off to Yale University after a twelvemonth at the Potomac State College in West Virginia ( 1994 ) .

Gates had a brooding and sometimes pensive narrative which brims with the enigmas and stabs and womb-to-tomb achings of turning up. He accounts a clear description that covers his brushs with gender to the find of rational excitement in the short memoir. As the reader can deduce, most of these events took topographic point in his life at the clip when he was marked to stand out in school. The narrative besides extends to his enduring a disabling hurt in one of his legs and fighting terribly for some regard from his male parent. Despite the book being a narrative of boyhood, household, segregation, the pre-civil rights epoch, and the epoch when civil rights filtered down from telecasting to local world, there is still a batch to commend in this book.

Fondly and humorously, “ Colored Peoples ” chronicles what it is like to turn up in a unintegrated epoch mineral county, West Virginia. In add-on, in this text, Gates had emphasized resilient African American tradition with racial, category and personal experiences in simple and clear linguistic communication. Harmonizing to him, these issues have shaped the African American lives. Sing his ain experience and doctrines, he developed perceptual experiences of lives of the African Americans in the United States that are full of enduring but besides filled with fulfilment.

Since the publication of “ Colored Peoples ” in 1994, the text has received assorted critical remarks from several people who think that Gates is acquiring excessively much attending that he does non merit. Some of the critics claim that the memoir lacks critical authorship like the other book on African American community. In add-on, they claim that Gates has taken African American works out of context of the cultural environment that has produced them. Harmonizing to them, Gates is non more Afro-centric, and therefore, he has failed in utilizing his considerable influence for the good of the African Americans.

However, the truth remains that in “ Colored Peoples, ” Gates has addressed facets such as civilization and history. As evident from the text, he has efficaciously communicated in an accessible mode to a trade name audience on these facets of the African American community. In add-on, he has made a part to the apprehension of the influence of faith in the American life. Gates has besides comprehensively discussed issues that concern the redemption of the churches and besides supplication during the critical minutes of coming of age. For the readers to efficaciously understand this literature from the position of the writer, it is necessary for them to hold basic cognition of faith since the memoir is based on it.


“ Colored People ” is an insightful piece of literature which can be read by anyone. It is more appealing particularly for those people who are non merely influenced but besides tracked by the impact of faith on the American civilization. In this memoir, Gates has positioned faith in the civil rights epoch, and therefore, in the development of this rational penetration, he provided the reader with a fascinating and of import lesson. In reflecting the Afro-american religion in a deeper and more extended context, Gates explored gender, socialisation, and household which, harmonizing to him, are affairs that are bound to happen when one comes of age.

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