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"Luke Cage" Guide to Black American Culture

Reading lists and music used and referenced in the Netflix superhero series, "Luke Cage."

Black American Literture

This section cites references made in the first season of Luke Cage to Black American literary figures and their works. It is based on Tara Betts' excellent article, "The Luke Cage Syllabus: A Breakdown of All the Black Literature Featured in Netflix’s Luke Cage."

Columns are sorted by fiction and non-fiction.

Black Fiction in "Luke Cage"

James Baldwin

Quintessential playwright, essayist and novelist.

Zora Neale Hurston

was a novelist and anthropologist whose work chronicled African American life in the early 20th century.

Donald Goines

Notable writer of urban fiction. Also wrote under the pseudonym, Al C. Clark.

Richard Price

Screenwriter and novelist known for such works as "Lush Life" and "The Whites" (written under the pseudonym Harry Brandt).

Chester Himes

Wrote noir novels, most notably the Harlem series. Himes did most of his later writing as an expatriate in France, where he died in 1984.

Black Literature (Non-Fiction) from "Luke Cage"

James Baldwin

Social critique and essays.

Zora Neale Hurston

was a novelist and anthropologist whose work chronicled African American life in the early 20th century.

Langston Hughes

One of the most important literary figures in U.S. history, Hughes wrote about black life in the U.S.. He won the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in 1935.

The Voice of Langston Hughes

Audio recording of the poet reading a selection of 21 of his works (prose and poetry) for the Smithsonian Folkways recordings in the 1950s. Access the recording online by clicking on the link that says, "Full text available from Alexander Street Press Smithsonian global sound for libraries."

As Seen in the Show

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