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Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison

Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison

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The story follows Adam Sunraider, a race-baiting senator, whose life takes an unexpected turn when he calls for Alonzo Hickman, an old Black minister, to be by his side as he faces a mortal wound. As the two men intimately share their stories and memories, the true shape and substance of the past begin to emerge.

Here is Ellison, a virtuoso of American vernacular—the preacher’s hyperbole and the politician’s rhetoric, the rhythms of jazz and gospel and ordinary speech—at the height of his powers, telling a moving, evocative tale of a prodigal of the twentieth century.

With an introduction and additional notes by John F. Callahan, who first compiled Juneteenth out of thousands of manuscript pages in 1999, and a preface by National Book Award-winning author Charles R. Johnson.

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