Henry Louis Gates Jrs Colored People English Literature Essay

A Book Review and Response Paper on Henry Louis Gates Jr. ‘s Colored Peoples: A Memoir

Over the old ages, a batch of cultural studies and surveies have already been conducted, turn outing that a batch of people and civilizations really find the African American society animating. These surveies resulted to farther academic ventures that aim at understanding the African American community better. A batch of these experts focused on the peculiar African American ‘s beliefs and ideals on religion, while other continued to discourse about their cultural and historical heritage. In line with this enterprise, Henry Louis Gates Jr. besides participated in an extensive survey which resulted to a critically acclaimed book which deals about the lives of African Americans. This book was named, Colored Peoples: A Memoir. This treatment shall take to supply an overview of what the book was about while analysing its context. This shall besides function as an insightful response which will stress on one of the most critical facets of the African American community as portrayed in the book, religion.

Faith as a Critical Aspect of the African American Society

Religion has been a typical capable affair in literature over the old ages. Religion much like spiritualty transcends civilizations and tradition as about all the people in this are a member of one peculiar religious belief. Gates ‘ work, Colored People is a narrative of the African Americans ‘ battle during one of the most racist times in America. During such social battle, black Americans have gone through the most parlous and the most seeking of times where their religion were largely tested. In other literary plants, it is discernible that some of the most evident manifestation of a individual ‘s spiritualty becomes apparent during disputing efforts. The same observation can be made in this work. The full work is devoted to recite how hard racism has been toward black Americans, this work is besides a reminder how important faith really is during such distressing minutes.

As what is evident from Colored People, Gates recognized the important function of the church and faith in the life of Americans during the in-between decennaries of the twentieth century. To him, issues that concern segregation, alcohol addiction, public address and music are all related. In the African American community, religion was really cardinal as it aided people in seeking account and understanding issues such as racism. Merely as Gates believed, the screens of the church provide penetration into the issues ( Gates, 1994 ) .

Colored People is a narrative which depicts several experiences by a immature adult male politically, intellectually, emotionally and even sexually. In this work, Gates employs his inventiveness when it comes to composing ; and with the inspiration from memorable life incidents like his discover of his female parent being a civil rights March leader, he was able to absolutely convey up the issues. He was besides able to put out, with so much with and inventiveness, the societal and emotional worlds from a universe which transited from racism. From the worlds of being a black American life in a white society, to the worlds contending for the rights of being a black American, Gates was able to limpidly and stirringly capture the empathy of his readers while making an accurate history of his life from birth up to his literary ventures after his surveies ( Gates, 1994 ) . Through his personal history of how hard those times have been, Gates was besides able to show to readers how important church has been for him, personally. Through this retelling, it is slightly easy for readers to place how religious, together with all the other black Americans of such epoch, Gates has been every bit good.

Gates ‘ mode of authorship can frequently be observed to be really stirring, which most of the clip emphasizes of his ventures and dreams while he was turning from a immature male child to a adult male. He was really precise with his personal histories of his brushs and experiences which added a different sort of exhilaration to his comparatively long memoir. The narrative manner besides goes beyond his agonies and his battle for his male parent ‘s attending. And despite the book being merely another history of childhood, racism, household and civil rights, there is really more to its message and inspiration aside from these things. It really covers a deeper and a more religious message which poses more relevant message as compared to these typical topics.

Fondly and humorously, Colored People retells a narrative of what life is like while turning up in a racialist society. Gates was able to foreground the resiliency of African Americans when it comes to category and personal experiences in such layman linguistic communication. Gates professed that such issues greatly shaped the African American manner of life in important ways. But most significantly, he focused on how of import faith really is in the intent of relieving such agony. Sing his ain experiences and ideals, he was able to invent his ain perceptual experience of life as an African American in the United States aa‚¬ ” full of enduring but however showered with pride and fulfilment.

Colored People got legion positive reappraisals and critical remarks since its publication. But despite such acknowledgments, a batch of people still think Gates do non merit the sort of attending he has been acquiring. Some critics claim the the work really lacks critical disposition like other literary plants on the topic of African American society. Furthermore, a batch of critics claim that Gates really centered on the topic of African American society excessively much, go forthing all the other important issues about segregation overlooked. Harmonizing to these critics, Gates became so Afro-centric which made him neglect to see public assistance of other non-African Americans. But despite such harangues and hateful, in the terminal what matters is the sort of message Gates ‘ work was able to exudate. Aside from his literary art, this work really serves as a cogent evidence of how good founded Gates is in footings of spiritualty. Apart from the proficient literary facet, it could be said that what is more singular is the fact that this work was able to integrate faith and religion in issues like racism in a manner that it serves as an reply and a solution. Religion is a capable affair that might non be intriguing or interesting for everyone. But what is noteworthy about this work is how the writer was able to convey out the kernel and the significance of the church ‘s influence by stirring the empathy of the readers through the distressing state of affairss of black Americans presented in the narrative.

Therefore, it is incontestible that Colored People was able to turn to some of the most relevant facets of civilization and history aside from faith and spiritualty. Apparently, Gates has showcased effectual communicating accomplishments which enabled him to do his text apprehensible and relateable to a battalion of readers. Furthermore, it contributed to the apprehension of the influence of faith in American life. Gates has besides comprehensively discussed the issues that involve the ideal of redemption through supplications particularly during the most seeking minutes of his life. For the readers to holistically understand the writer ‘s position point, it is so of import to foremost hold a basic clasp of faith or religion since this work is greatly based on it.


Colored People provides an insightful piece of literary work which can be read by anyone due to its simplistic narrative manner. It appears more appealing particularly for those who are non merely influenced but besides tracked by the impact of faith on the American civilization. In this memoir, Gates has positioned faith in the civil rights epoch, and therefore, in the development of this rational penetration, he provided the reader with a fascinating and of import lesson. In reflecting the Afro-american religion in a deeper and more extended context, Gates explored gender, socialisation, and household which, harmonizing to him, are affairs that are bound to happen when one comes of age.

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