Betsey Brown Essay

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Brent has a Ph.D. in American culture, specializing in film studies, from the University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and teaches courses in the history of American cinema. In the following essay, Brent discusses references to popular culture and African-American celebrities of the 1950s in Shange 's novel.

The novel Betsey Brown, by Ntozake Shange, is set in St. Louis in the mid-1950s, during which the landmark Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. the Board of Education led to the desegregation of schools in the South. Betsey Brown, the main character, is an adolescent African-American girl, from an educated, middle-class family, who is "bused" to a mostly white high school in the wake of this ruling. Throughout the novel, Shange addresses themes of desegregation and its effect on African-American families, especially children. The novel is also a look at the early period of...

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This section contains 3,703 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Betsey Brown Study Guide
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