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Adventures in Black and White

by Philippa Schuyler 2Leaf Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 324 pages
AU$46.99 NZ$49.56
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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ADVENTURES IN BLACK AND WHITE, a memoir-travelogue first published in 1960, is being reissued with a critical introduction, including minor edits and annotations of the original text by scholar Tara Betts. Recognized as a prodigy at an early age, Philippa Duke Schuyler was heralded as America's first internationally-acclaimed mixed race celebrity. Her father, a conservative black journalist, and her mother, a white Texan heiress, dedicated Schuyler's development to the cause of integration with the claim that racial mixing could produce a superior hybrid human, a claim that Schuyler resisted, but would nonetheless hurl her into a destructive identity crisis that consumed her throughout her life. When the transition from child prodigy to concert pianist proved challenging in America, Schuyler, like many black performers before her, went abroad during the 1950s for larger audiences. Schuyler's witnessing first-hand the dissemblage of European colonies in Africa and the Middle East is the focus of ADVENTURES IN BLACK AND WHITE. This narrative connects the Harlem Renaissance to the prelude of the Civil Rights Movement at a time when the public conversation on interracial identity in America was just beginning. As Schuyler writes about Africa'"the homeland of her ancestors"'readers can begin to understand how the young musician would eventually find her way as an author and a journalist, and the books that followed.
PHILIPPA DUKE SCHUYLER (1931-1967) was a mixed-race American pianist, composer, journalist and author. TARA BETTS is an award-winning poet, author and scholar of African American and white French descent. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Binghamton University, and an MFA in creative writing from New England College. She has taught at Rutgers University, University of Illinois-Chicago, and the MFA program at Chicago State University. She is also one of the co-editors of The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (2017) and the Poetry Editor at Another Chicago Magazine. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, she is the author of several poetry collections and chapbooks, including her latest book, Break the Habit (2016). A Cave Canem graduate, she held residencies from the Ragdale Foundation, Centrum and Caldera, and was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Artist fellowship.