Writing prompts inspired by James Ransome
Quilts are a recurring theme in Ransome's books, from a charming folk art ABCs ( Quilt Alphabet ) to the story of an African American girl's escape from slavery ( Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt ). Imagine a quilt that tells your family's story. What colors, patterns, and images would it have, and why? Ransome is also deeply interested in folktales, particularly African American stories and their origins in African storytelling traditions. In A Pride of African Tales , Ransome contributes richly colored watercolors to illustrate a classic trickster tale, cautionary tale, fable, pourquoi story, and more. Try writing your own pourquoi story, explaining to your friends how your animal got to be the way it is today. Let your imagination go wild!
What a curious phrase, ”the final democracy”! The final democracy could be realized only with the registering of the cadences of the black literary voice. This idea has such a long and intricate history in black letters that one could write a book about it. Suffice it to say here that W. H. A. Moore received it from writers such as E. Fortune, Jr., who in 1883 published an essay on ”The Importance of Literature: Its Influence on the Progress of Nations,” and found these ideas
echoed in essays such as a 1905 New York Age editorial entitled “Dearth of Afro-American Writers,” in which T. Thomas Fortune argued that “the capacity of a race is largely measured by the achievements of its writers, in whom its natural vigor and perspicuity of intellect, its highest moral revelations and its most delicate and beautiful emotions should reach consummation.” These statements are only two of many more. A New Negro would signify his presence in the arts, and it was this impulse that lead, of course, to the New Negro Renaissance of the twenties.