Record Details

Catalog Search

Search The Catalog

Black folk could fly : selected writings / Randall Kenan ; introduction by Tayari Jones.

Kenan, Randall, (author.). Jones, Tayari, (author of introduction.).


"A personal, social, and intellectual self-portrait of the beloved and enormously influential late Randall Kenan, a master of both fiction and nonfiction. Virtuosic in his use of literary forms, nurtured and unbounded by his identities as a Black man, a gay man, an intellectual, and a Southerner, Randall Kenan was known for his groundbreaking fiction. Less visible were his extraordinary nonfiction essays, published as introductions to anthologies and in small journals, revealing countless facets of Kenan's life and work. Flying under the radar, these writings were his most personal and autobiographical: memories of the three women who raised him-a grandmother, a schoolteacher great-aunt, and the great-aunt's best friend; recollections of his boyhood fear of snakes and his rapturous discoveries in books; sensual evocations of the land, seasons, and crops-the labor of tobacco picking and hog killing-of the eastern North Carolina lowlands where he grew up; and the food (oh the deliriously delectable Southern foods!) that sustained him. Here too is his intellectual coming of age; his passionate appreciations of kindred spirits as far-flung as Eartha Kitt, Gordon Parks, Ingmar Bergman, and James Baldwin. This powerful collection is a testament to a great mind, a great soul, and a great writer from whom readers will always wish to have more to read"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780393882162
  • ISBN: 0393882160
  • Physical Description: xv, 270 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company, [2022]

Content descriptions

Formatted Contents Note:
A Change Is Gonna Come: A Letter To My Godson -- Part I: Comfort Me. Scuppernongs and Beef Fat: Some Things about the Women Who Raised Me -- Rooster, the Rattlesnake, and the Hydrangea Bush -- Greens: A Mess of Memories about Taste -- ǂtSwine Dreams: or, Barbecue for the Brain -- Chinquapin: Elementary Particles -- Ode to Billie Joe -- Comfort Me with Barbecue -- Ghost Dog: or, How I Wrote My First Novel -- Part II: Where Am I Black? Come Out the Wilderness -- Where Am I Black?: or, Something about My Kinfolks -- Blackness on My Mind -- An Ahistorical Silliness -- Notes Toward an Essay on Imagining Thomas Jefferson Watching a Performance of the Musical Hamilton -- Many Lives of Eartha Kitt: or, Taking the Girl out of the south -- Good ship Jesus: Baldwin, Bergman, and the Protestant Imagination -- There's a Hellhound on Your Trail: How to See Like Gordon Parks -- Part III: That Eternal Burning. Finding the Forgotten -- Chitlins and Chimichangas: A Southern Tale in Black and Latin: A Proposal for a Documentary -- Letter from North Carolina: Learning from Ghosts of the Civil War -- That Eternal Burning -- Love and Labor -- Letter to Self.
Subject: Kenan, Randall.
Authors, American > 20th century > Biography.
African American authors > 20th century > Biography.
Genre: Essays.

Available copies

  • 5 of 7 copies available at NC Cardinal. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Fontana Regional Library.


  • 1 current hold with 7 total copies.
Sort by distance from:
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Jackson County Public Library 813 K (Text) 39493109433849 Adult New Nonfiction Available -

Additional Resources