The Sexual Mountain and Black Woman

SKU: RYLB10054

A bold exploration of the controversial role that black women writers have played in the making of African-American literature by the bestselling author of Sex and Racism in America.


The author of Sex and Racism in America argues here that black men, who dominate the world of black literature, have downplayed the contributions of black women. This controversial reappraisal of contemporary black writing opens with a chapter on Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, which Hernton provocatively interprets as a slave narrative. Aruging that “superstar” writers like Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright have portrayed black women as nagging bitches or mammy figures, he contrasts their work with the more sympathetic, realistic portrayals of women by James Baldwin and Langston Hughes. He also discusses Anny Petry’s graphic protest novel The Street, which he views as the pivotal work of black women’s writing, and examines the consciousness-raising poetry of Thulani Davis, Toi Derricotte, Rita Dove, Brenda Marie Osbey and others.