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Retro 1980s

A diverse collection of books, music, and films that highlight 1980s black culture and experience.


A Hard Road to Glory : a History of the African-American Athlete
GV583.A74 1993

A Hard Road to Glory, a three-volume work now revised and updated from its original publication in 1988 by Warner Books, is an authoritative treatment of the history of Black athletes in the US, presented within the context of American social and cultural life. It's also the enduring legacy of the late tennis star, Arthur Ashe (1943-1993), who realized that a vast amount of material existed on the participation of Blacks in athletics in this country, but that it had never been collected, organized, and presented in historical context, analyzed, and interpreted. Each volume is thoroughly illustrated with multiple glossy inserts.


The Salt Eaters

Set in Claybourne, a small town somewhere in the South, THE SALT EATERS is the story of a community of black faith healers who, searching for the healing properties of salt, witness an event that will change their lives forever.


Adulthood Rites : Xenogenesis

Told in the haunting voice of Lilith, the heroine of "Dawn", this book is the story of Lilith's only son, Akin. Though he resembles a normal human, Akin is the first "construct"--part man/part alien.


Good Woman : Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980
PS3553.L45 G63 1987

Finalist, 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. "Lucille Clifton is one of the four or five most authentic and profound living American poets."--Denise Levertov


Time Flies
PN6231.A43 C67 1987

America's #1 media personality and bestselling author delivers a light-hearted, highly personal yet universally appealing look at the different ages and stages through which we live and learn. A book for every age.


Thomas and Beulah : poems
PS3554.O884 T47 1986

A collection of poetry by Rita Dove.


A Soldier's Play : a play
PS3556.U367 S6 1982

A black sergeant cries out in the night, "They still hate you," then is shot twice and falls dead. Set in 1944 at Fort Neal, a segregated army camp in Louisiana, Charles Fuller's forceful drama - which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 and has been regularly seen in both its original stage and its later screen version - tracks the investigation of this murder. A Soldier's Play is more than a detective story: it is a tough, incisive exploration of racial tensions and ambiguities among blacks and between blacks and whites that gives no easy answers and assigns no simple blame.


Tar Baby

Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison explores racial relationships among an unforgettable group of characters. In a seaside mansion on a lush Caribbean island, millionaire Valerian Street and his wife go through the motions of a life together, a life orchestrated by the attentions of their black butler and the butler's wife. The ornament in this world is Jadine, the beautiful, cultivated young niece of the servants, who has enjoyed a Paris education at Valerian's expense. The glassy surface of this privileged life is shattered one night, when a ragged black American street man called Son breaks into the house. This violent and uneducated man becomes a mirror in which the others begin to see their own hopes and illusions - and Jadine to see the racial and class entanglements that impinge upon her growing love.


The Color Purple

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.


Fences: A Play
PS3573.I45677 F4 1986

The protagonist of Fences (part of Wilson's ten-part "Pittsburgh Cycle" plays), Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s... a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can...a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less...


Do the right thing [videorecording]

The hottest day of the year explodes onscreen in this vibrant look at a day in the life of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. A portrait of urban racial tensions sparked controversy while earning popular and critical praise.


Stir Crazy [videorecording]

Two zany drifters are mistakenly sent to prison for a robbery they didn't commit. They must rely on their wits in order to survive a sadistic warden, a hulking mass-murderer and worst of all, the inter-prison rodeo.


Purple rain [videorecording]

Prince stars as "The Kid," a Minneapolis club musician, who struggles with both a tumultous homelife and his own smoldering anger while taking refuge in his music and his steamy love for sultry Apollonia Kotero. Semi-autobiographical.


Thriller [sound recording]