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Abandoning The Black Hero

The film adaptation of Frank Yerby's 1946 best-selling novel, The Foxes of Harrow.

African-American literary authors like James Baldwin or Zora Neale Hurston are famous for their depictions of black life. But these novelists have also written books with white protagonists. Why is this unexpected? Is there a mandate that black authors write only about black characters?

Host Frank Stasio is joined by a panel of writers and scholars to discuss the white life novel.  John Charles is assistant professor of English and Africana studies at North Carolina State University and author of "Abandoning the Black Hero: Sympathy and Privacy in the Postwar African American White-Life Novel" (Rutgers University Press/ 2012); Samuel Delany is the author of  "Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders" (Magnus Books/ 2012); Jennifer Ho is associate professor of English and comparative literature at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Consumption and Identity in Asian American Coming-of-Age Novels" (Routledge Pres/ 2005).

Shawn Wen joined the staff of The State of Things in March 2012 and served as associate producer until February 2014.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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