Title Details

Pages: 488

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 04/06/2000

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2201-8

List Price: $32.95


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  • Description
  • Reviews
John Oliver Killens's landmark novel of social protest chronicles the lives of the Youngblood family and their friends in Crossroads, Georgia, from the turn of the century to the Great Depression. Its large cast of powerfully affecting characters includes Joe Youngblood, a tragic figure of heroic physical strength; Laurie Lee, his beautiful and strong-willed wife; Richard Myles, a young high school teacher from New York; and Robby, the Youngbloods' son, who takes the large risk of becoming involved in the labor movement.

Published originally on the heels of the Supreme Court's decision of 1954, Youngblood marked the beginning of a new era in African American literature, for it broke starkly with the Wright school and opened a path for those novelists, poets, and playwrights who comprised the Neo-Black Arts Movement—a movement that recognized John Oliver Killens as its spiritual father.

—Toni Cade Bambara

[Killens] has written a novel, timeless in evocations of the rights of humankind and unparalleled in its optimism concerning the human condition. Youngblood is a tremendous achievement.

—Addison Gayle

It has the power of the author's passion. The novel of social protest . . . justifies itself when it is as moving as Youngblood and deals with so gross an evil.

—Granville Hicks, New York Times

About the Author/Editor

JOHN OLIVER KILLENS (1916-1987) was born in Macon, Georgia. He wrote four novels, including And Then We Heard the Thunder, several screenplays, a biography of Denmark Vesey, and essays collected under the title Black Man’s Burden.