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Brothers In Exile: Three African American Writers in Paris
From Tuesday 03 February 2015
To Sunday 29 March 2015

Location : The American Library in Paris

Category : Library Exhibits

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They were three African American writers - Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Chester Himes - who decided to leave their homeland at a critical moment in its racial history, to live in Paris, that eternal artists' destination, a city that was, in the 1950s, being shaken by the winds of the Cold War and the violent death throes of colonialism. 
— Jake Lamar

richard wright-smljames baldwin smlchester himes sml

In celebration of Black History Month discover this intriguing triptych portrait of three American literary giants of the mid-twentieth century based on the play Brothers in Exile written by Jake Lamar.

Each man was a writer of unique genius. The backgrounds and temperaments, the specific gifts and tragic flaws, of each man were acutely different. But Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Chester Himes were joined by the destiny of identity and expatriation. They were, at once, the architects and the victims of their times. As strangers in a strange land, linked by fraternal affection and fratricidal impulses, they were brothers in exile.


This exhibit is curated by Naida Culshaw, who holds a Masters in Museum Studies and is passionate about sharing history in a creative way. She's also the curator of past Library exhibits including Swoosh! Crack! Roar! - Celebrating the Negro Leagues and the All-American Girls Baseball League, Following The Flavors of the African Diaspora, Inside the Archives: LIFE, EBONY, MAD, VOGUE, and other treasures, as well as Blue, Grey and Black: African Americans in the Civil War and Reimagining Blacks in the American West.

Photo credits: Richard Wright, Rue Jacob, Paris, 1949 | Portraits | Todd Webb; Chester Himes, portrait by Carl Van Vechten, 28 Jun 1955; James Baldwin, image from www.autostraddle.com


In conjunction with the Brothers in Exile exhibit, please join us on Tuesday 17 February for a conversation with Jake Lamar, exploring the creative process behind his play. Then on Saturday 21 March participate in a literary discussion - Writers and their Heroes - where you'll take a close look at the protagonists in four seminal novels by Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and Chester Himes. Space is limited, RSVP required.

Access to the exhibit is free to Library members, as well as users with a Library day or week pass. Visit the membership page for details.