John A. Williams: Writings of Consequence

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title: writings of consequence: the art of john a. williams

text: university of rochester: rare books and special collections
scanned photo of John A. Williams, by Stathis Orphanos

"My family now has accepted my being a writer; it did not at first. They seemed to feel that writing was like a bad cold and soon would pass. In a family where everyone for generations had earned their bread with muscle and sweat, as I once earned mine, I felt I had become a freak....

Young black writers will go through the same thing until we have established as a race, here in America, a tradition of books, literature, and writing. Once in this nation, it meant death for a black man to even learn to read; but we are freeing ourselves of this fear."

Quote from "Time and Tide: The Roots of Black Awareness," in Flashbacks: A Twenty-Year Diary of Article Writing. (Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1973, p. 422)


Photograph by Stathis Orphanos