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Louise Meriwether, 1979 November

@ Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Library

Meriwether, Louise


Novelist and essayist Louise Meriwether delivered 13 lectures to the Black Experience in the Arts course, ranging from 1971 to 1988. The theme of Meriwether's 1972 lecture was the black writer from slavery to black nationalism. She discussed the lives and careers of writers such as Phillis Wheatly, Frances Harper, and George Moses Horton who became the 1st slave to openly protest his condition in print. She also highlighted David Walker's 1829 indictment against slavery and William Wells Brown, the United States' 1st black novelist. After explaining the black writer in the 19th century, Meriwether discussed the leading black artists during the Harlem Renaissance, figures such as W.E.B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, and Langston Hughes who Meriwether described as someone who explained and illuminated black conditions in the United States, not with pleas or complaints, but statements and demands. The last third of her lecture brought the discussion up to the 1970s with her assertion that a new crop of black poets were creating a new language and aesthetic. Meriwether also discussed the emergence of black theater which she believed emphasized art for the people' sake, not simply for art's sake. The volume of the tape could be better, to hear Meriwether clearly the volume must be turned all the way up. Meriwether spoke on 3/14/1972 (2015-0002/RR12), 12/12/1972 (2015-0002/RR22), 11/19/1974 (2015-0002/RR23), 9/26/1978 (2015-0002/RR25), 11/6/1979 (2015-0002/RR26), 11/11/1980 (2015-0002/RR27), 10/20/1981 (2015-0002/RR28), 10/5/1982 (2015-0002/RR29), 12/6/1983 (2015-0002/RR30), 11/11/1986 (2015-0002/RR31), 2/23/1988 (2015-0002/RR32), 5/5/1971 (2015-0002/RR314), and 2/5/1974 (2015-0002/RR326).
Sound Recordings
O'Connor, EdwardSmith, Hale
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