21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 9: “The Wife of His Youth” (2.18.2015)

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Click the image to access and read “The Wife of His Youth eBook!

With “The Wife of his Youth“, Chesnutt delivered yet another short story of racially mixed people passing. This story illustrates the idea of racial ambiguity and living as a particular type of other in North Carolina. This–racial identity–being the most dominant theme among his published work. See what some scholars and academics are writing about this story and general conversations on passing and race.

This story rings quite relevant and timely, as this very issue of colorism (especially among Black women) was portrayed in Bill Duke’s Light Girls that aired January 19th, 2015 on OWN.

And here’s a YouTube video created by a student at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth Texas, which gives a creative synopsis of Chesnutt’s The Wife of His Youth.”

21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 4: Flashback Friday + Digitized Collections (2.13.2015)

In addition to celebrating Black History Month with 21 days of Charles W. Chesnutt, today also serves as Flashback Friday.

We are going way, way back with two archived photographs of Chesnutt as a child and young man.

These two photos are courtesy of the Archives & Special Collections digitized collection. More digitally archived photos can be accessed on campus by copying and pasting the following address into Windows Internet Explorer: P:\Data\Chesnutt Archives. For the off-campus FSU community, these collections can be obtained with a VPN connection.

21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 3: “To Be an Author” (2.12.2015)

Knowing who you are and what you want to do with your life—two issues that Charles W. Chesnutt apparently toiled with throughout adulthood. Like many writers of both the past and present, Chesnutt wrestled with other careers, jobs, and methods of sustaining his life and family.


To Be An Author - Letters of Charles W. Chesnutt, Ed McElrath and Leitz, 1997, Chesnutt Library, Fayetteville State University - Black History Month - 2.12 (2)

At some point or another, he called himself a principal, lawyer, reporter, teacher, stenographer…husband and father, too. But the one thing that he always came back to, the one trade that stuck with him was that of writer.

Chesnutt is (arguably) heralded as the first great Black American writer, a pioneer in African American literary history. In “To Be an Author” (1997), a collection of his letters between 1889 – 1905, readers are able to glean a restless chronicle of Chesnutt’s “frustration of a lifelong quest to transcend the limitations” (x) of wadding on the periphery. These letters were compiled to focus wholly on his pursuit to arrive as a professional author.

If you are never published or accepted in to a heavily-circulated publication, then what? Do you continue to write for the sake of sating your thirst to create? History tells us that notoriety tends to come back after we are dead and gone; this too held true for Chesnutt. So, you may find some reassurance knowing that it’s a sort of rite to endure your share of struggle and to balance thinking you are a writer with actually being one.

To Be an Author reaffirms that artists—no matter their form or genre—will forever struggle with how to create, share, and continue their art. They learn to persist, even if they are never accepted by their peers.

You can find this collection of letters in both the Reference and Main Stacks.


Source: McElrath, Joseph R. and Robert C. Leitz III, eds, “To Be an Author”: Letters of Charles W. Chesnutt (1889-1905). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. Print.

21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 2: “Self-Made Men” (2.11.2015)

Chesnutt, Charles W. “Self-Made Men.” Charles W. Chesnutt: Essays and Speeches. Ed. Joseph R. McElrath. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999. 33-40. Print.Day 2: We turn our focus to a speech that Chesnutt delivered in 1882. The message of his oration, as the title presumes, focused on the nature of men who, despite their circumstances, surroundings, and pedigree, are able to rise above and, essentially, still make something out of nothing.


He paints a picture of savvy and resolute men, with images of notables like Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, and Frederick Douglass—men throughout history (and this was only up until 1882) who have, for all intents and purposes, started from the bottom (H/T to Drake)…and then arrived:

“But when we see a youth, born in poverty, cradled in obscurity;–when we see such a youth rise superior to his coarse surroundings, and vulgar associations, and, overcoming all obstacles, by sheer force of intellect and will attaining to a high rank in life; then we instinctively pause to admire, and rejoice in the power of the mind” (34).

“Self-Made Men” is a testament of the power of the mind to elevate the body (i.e., social station, socioeconomic status). You can read his speech in its entirety here or browse the edited collection in the Library.

 


Source: Chesnutt, Charles W. “Self-Made Men.” Charles W. Chesnutt: Essays and Speeches. Ed. Joseph R. McElrath. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999. 33-40. Print.

 

21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 1: “The Goophered Grapevine” (2.10.2015)

Here’s to 21 days devoted to our namesake, in the spirit of Black History Month.

Charles W. Chesnutt succesfully encapsulated the heavy toll of being  black, white, and other all at once in the American South.  Chesnutt’s work deals almost exclusively  with racial ambiguity, racial passing, and race relations in general. But you need to do your own reading to uncover the very personal depths of his rich and thoughtful prose!

The Goophered Grapevine, Charles W. Chesnutt, Chesnutt Library, Fayetteville State University - Black History Month (2.10.2015)Day 1: We are featuring Chesnutt’s first published short story, “The Goophered  Grapevine” published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1887. This text may prove somewhat difficult to read; Chesnutt jumped from dialect to dialect in an attempt to capture the essence of southern Black conversation and dialogue. Much in the way Hurston does in “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

The Goophered Grapevine” is freely accessible online and you are encouraged to download and read. You can also find the short story in various Chesnutt collections, which we have available  for checkout!

Artist Kadir Nelson Exhibit at the Arts Council, Book Display in Chesnutt Library, and Carole Boston Weatherford Reading on Jan. 31st (1.22.2015)

Kadir Nelson’s exhibit, Words and Pictures, was previewed by Arts Council members and sponsors on Thursday January 22nd, 2015. Earnest Lamb, chair of Fayetteville State’s Department of Performing and Fine Arts, introduced Mr. Nelson to the private audience, before the night’s book-signing commenced.

Mr. Nelson illustrated Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (2006), which was written by FSU’s own Carole Boston Weatherford. Chesnutt Library has erected a display the first floor featuring works illustrated by Nelson, to include the award-winning book penned by Professor Boston Weatherford who was also a Chesnutt Fellow (Fifth Cohort, 2012-2013). All of the books in the display are available for checkout. Professor Boston Weatherford will take part in a reading and book-signing on Saturday January 31st, 2015 from 11am – 12:30pm at the Arts Council.

Words and Pictures opens to the public January 23rd, 2015 with a meet-and-greet and book-signing, during Downtown Fayetteville’s 4th Friday. The exhibit will run through February 28th, 2015. Visit the Arts Council website for more information on the exhibit, details on group tours, and gallery hours.

LaTasha R. Jones (Reference and Interlibrary Loan Department) attended the Arts Council Members Reception on 1/23/15 and created the book display.

#FayettevilleInfoLit: Presentations of 7th Cohort of Chesnutt Library Fellows (12.16.14)

20140513-085804.jpgThe seventh cohort of the Chesnutt Library Fellows Information Literacy Program Workshops will commence today, Tuesday December 16th at 11:00am. A presentation by the sixth cohort representative, Dr. Chuck Tryon (Department of English), will start at 11:30am in the JC Jones Board of Trustees Room on the 2nd floor of Chesnutt Library.

We will be live-tweeting the presentations and discussions with:

@CharlesChesnutt    |     #FayettevilleInfoLit

Over the next two days, returning workshop facilitators, LaVerne Gray and Allison Sharp, will guide Fayetteville State University faculty with the redesign of their class syllabi to reflect Information Literacy infusion. Participants will acquire strategies and suggestions for the process of collaborating on the ACRL standards, modifications of their syllabi for the Spring 2015 semester, their collaborative meetings with liaison librarians, etc.

Seventh Faculty Cohort, 2014-2015

  • Jennifer Bushelle-Edghill, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Management, Department of Accounting, School of Business and Economics
  • Beatrice Carroll, Full-time Adjunct Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, Department of Elementary Education, School of Education
  • Ayde (Ida) Enriquez-Loya, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Bradley Kadel, Assistant Professor of History, Department of Government and History, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Quienton Nichols, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Department of Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Joseph Osei, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Department of Government and History, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Brian Phillips, Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, Department of Elementary Education, School of Education
  • Tamara Woods, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Department of Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences

#ThrowbackThursday | Veteran Spotlight: Dr. Rudolph Jones (11.13.2014)

During the month of November, the Archives and Special Collections Department will have a display titled “Veteran Spotlight” featuring Dr. Rudolph Jones. The display is available for viewing on the 1st floor of Chesnutt Library.

Read more about the display on our Tumblr here.

Veteran Spotlight Display, Rudolph Jones, Archives and Special Collections, Chesnutt Library, Fayetteville State University (Photo taken 11.10.2014)Veteran Spotlight Display, Rudolph Jones, Archives and Special Collections, Chesnutt Library, Fayetteville State University (Photo taken 11.10.2014)

#FlashbackFriday | PHOTOS: 2014 Homecoming, #ChesnuttArchives at Alumni Welcome Center (11.7.2014)

#FlashbackFriday | #ChesnuttLibrary Went Pink on October 22nd for Breast Cancer Awareness (11.7.2014)

#FlashbackFriday | #ChesnuttLibrary Goes Pink on October 22nd for Breast Cancer Awareness (11.7.2014) (PinkDay 2014LibStaff)