Item #1074 Black Orpheus: A Journal of African and Afro-American Literature [No. 6, November 1959]. Ulli Beier, Janheinz Jahn.
Black Orpheus: A Journal of African and Afro-American Literature [No. 6, November 1959]
Black Orpheus: A Journal of African and Afro-American Literature [No. 6, November 1959]

Black Orpheus: A Journal of African and Afro-American Literature [No. 6, November 1959]

Ibadan, Nigeria: General Publications Section, Ministry of Education, 1959. First Edition, First Printing.

A scarce copy of the groundbreaking African literary journal, Black Orpheus, the first African literary journal in English.

Ulli Beier, a lecturer at Ibadan University in Nigeria, founded Black Orpheus in 1957. The journal was influential in promoting African writing to a world-wide readership. Black Orpheus was "designed, in a time still dominated by colonialist chauvinism, primarily to educate English-speaking Africans about the rest of the black world, and secondarily to inspire and encourage young writers and teach them about African traditional cultures other than their own." (Peter Benson, Black Orpheus, Transition, and Modern Cultural Awakening in Africa," 1986, page 24).

This issue is No. 6 from November 1959 and contains works by a number of distinguished writers. There's poetry by Ezekiel Mphahlele (South Africa), Gabriel Okara (Nigeria), and Léon Damas (France), and short stories by Mallam Amadou Hampâté Bâ (Mali) and E.A. James (West Indies). Ulli Beier has contributed an article on two Yoruba painters, with 12 pages of plates devoted to their art. Fabulous screen-printed art -- a Senufo mask -- by Susanne Wenger.

As usual in Black Orpheus, there's an extensive book-review section. One of the books reviewed here is E.R. Braithwaite's "To Sir, With Love," which became a movie starring Sidney Poitier with a title track sung by Lulu. The author of the review is listed as Sangodare Akanji, a pseudonym used by Ulli Beier.

A terrific example of a journal that was instrumental in promoting African writing to a global audience. SCARCE.

PHYSICAL DETAILS: Small Quarto (10 3/8 x 7 1/2 inches; 262 x 190 mm), 57, [12], [3] pages, in stapled, illustrated wrappers (soft cover). Twelve pages consist of black-and-white plates illustrating Ulli Beier's article.

CONDITION: Soiling and rubbing to wrappers, a bit of curling to corners, paper loss to spine around staples, and a few chips to the extremities. Internally, clean and unmarked. About Very Good. Item #1074

Price: $750.00

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