Frank Marshall Davis: The Fire And The Phoenix (A Critical Biography)
Frank Marshall Davis: The Fire And The Phoenix (A Critical Biography)
Frank Marshall Davis: The Fire And The Phoenix (A Critical Biography)

Frank Marshall Davis: The Fire And The Phoenix (A Critical Biography)

  • Publish Date: 2012-01-02
  • Binding: Paperback
Pacific Raven Press
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Frank Marshall Davis: The Fire and the Phoenix (A Critical Biography) is a compelling historical biography about Frank Marshall Davis (1907-1987), journalist, editor, poet, labor activist, and Renaissance man of the Black Chicago Renaissance. He wrote expansively about social relations of his times and the failures of democracy, recorded his observations on race relations, African American culture and community, and critiqued economic disparities in the USA and imperialism in Hawai`i. Kathryn Waddell Takara writes with an uncanny ability to dissect the humanity of Frank Marshall Davis and to explore the myths and legacy that Davis left to the world, applicable to the 21st century. Waddell Takara met, visited, befriended, and interviewed Davis in Hawai`i during the last 15 years of his life. She felt a special affinity for and understanding of Davis due to certain shared situations: the Jim Crow South, poetry and politics, activism, and interracial marriage and life as an African American in Hawai`i. Between the pages of this critical biography, Waddell Takara reveals Davis's efforts to establish connective marginalities between the black and white worlds, both conventional and nonconventional,in the first half of the 20th century. His personal aim to acquire power, status, and dignity like any white citizen and the methods he utilized were often unusual, unconventional, and challenging: journalism, editorials, poetry, music, American and African history, politics, and activism. Davis's aesthetic perceptions, sociopolitical analysis, and rigorous interpretive thought are valuable today in understanding (current issues). He documented the racial climate, the black psyche, identity issues, migrations of blacks to urban areas, struggles with poverty, lack of education and training, tattered dreams, sexual politics, and conflicts based on stereotypes alternately using lyricism and satire to educate, empower and push for social reform. His writings, especially his editorials, show how the black intellectual's voice has been forged in response to political and cultural movements as a confrontational force connecting the black and white worlds. Davis documents the geopolitics of race and class from Kansas to Hawai`i. The Fire and the Phoenix highlights Davis's journey from where he was born, raised, and educated in Kansas to his professional work as a journalist and poet in Chicago, Gary, Atlanta, and finally the territory of Hawai`i in 1948. Throughout his long life, Davis wrote about social, political and economic events and served as a witness and critic of racism, economic disparities, imperialism, and colonialism long before those concepts were part of the social science jargon and studies. Davis remained in Hawai`i until he died in 1987.

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