To Sunday 29 March 2015
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
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