“Tell It to Us Easy” and Other Stories

A Complete Short Fiction Anthology of African American Women Writers in Opportunity Magazine (1923–1948)

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About the Book

During the Harlem Renaissance, several literary periodicals encouraged African American women to submit poetry, short stories, essays, or other literary contributions for publication. Opportunity magazine was one such periodical that made immeasurable contributions to the careers of many female African American writers.
This anthology collects all of the short stories published in Opportunity by African American women during the magazine’s 25 years of publication. It includes works by both well-known authors (Zora Neale Hurston, Marita Bonner) and more obscure writers. There is also an additional African tale translated by Violette de Mazia, a white woman known for promoting African American art. It also includes an introduction which contextualizes the short stories historically in light of the overall development of African American writing.

About the Author(s)

Judith Musser is a professor of English at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has written previously on women writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Judith Musser
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 372
Bibliographic Info: notes, references, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2008]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6619-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0994-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1


DIGRESSION

Eunice Roberta Hunton      7

REPLICA

Eunice Roberta Hunton      9

SLACKENED CAPRICE

Ottie B. Graham      10

DRENCHED IN LIGHT

Zora Neale Hurston      15

WHO GIVES HIMSELF

Eunice Roberta Hunton      21

THE TEARS OF THE ALMOND TREE

Isabelle Eberhardt      22

ELISE

Julia Rumford      25

ONE NIGHT IN AFRICA

Isabelle Eberhardt      26

THE CORNER

Eunice Hunton Carter      29

SPUNK

Zora Neale Hurston      30

THE HANDS: A STORY

Marita Bonner      34

MADEMOISELLE ’TASIE—A STORY

Eloise Bibb Thompson      37

JOHN REDDING GOES TO SEA

Zora Neale Hurston      44

THE LEGEND OF NGURANGURANE

(THE SON OF THE CROCODILE)

Violette De Mazia      54

THE TYPEWRITER

Dorothy West      62

MUTTSY

Zora Neale Hurston      67

THE PINK HAT

Caroline Bond Day      76

MASKS: A STORY

Eloise Bibb Thompson      79

BLACK

Nellie R. Bright      84

HIGH FALUTIN’

Pearl Fisher      89

A SLAVE FOR LIFE: A STORY OF THE LONG AGO

Coralie Franklin Cook      95

DARK LAUGHTER

Ethel Riley      102

BEYOND THE YEARS

Mary Etta Spencer      108

RECOMPENSE

Lilith Shell      114

CROSS CROSSINGS CAUTIOUSLY

Anita Scott Coleman      121

PRODIGAL

Laura D. Nichols      123

FAITH: A STORY

Thelma T. Clement      125

THE ETERNAL QUEST

Anita Scott Coleman      128

EBONY—A STORY

Isabel M. Thompson      130

THE NOOSE

Octavia B. Wynbush      134

THERE WERE THREE

Marita O. Bonner      138

OF JIMMIE HARRIS

Marita O. Bonner      142

CORNER STORE

Marita O. Bonner      146

THE BLACK DRESS: A SHORT SHORT STORY

Dorothy West      150

TIN CAN

Marita Bonner Occomy      152

PART OF THE PACK: ANOTHER VIEW OF NIGHT LIFE IN HARLEM

Hazel V. Campbell      165

WHITE ONLY: A STORY OF THE COLOR LINE

Helen Faw Mull      172

STREET OF THE MORTAR AND PESTLE: A STORY OF COLOR IN THE CAPITAL

Florence Jackson Stoddard      175

A SEALED POD

Marita Bonner      180

THE PARASITES

Hazel Vivian Campbell      185

TOO MUCH PIGMENT

Effie Carrow      192

THE MAKIN’S

Marita B. Bonner      199

ACROSS THE LINE

Grace W. Tompkins      204

A STREET CAR RIDE

Frances Eisenberg      205

HALL OF LIBERTY

Manet Fowler      210

INCIDENT

A’lelia Ransom      216

NOTHING CHANGES

Mary Louise Bohanon      217

BLACK FRONTS

Marita Bonner      223

SOUTHERN CIRCUMSTANCE

Manet Fowler      229

THE FUGITIVE

Grace W. Tompkins      233

BLACK BROTHER

Cordelia T. Smith      237

CONDEMNED HOUSE: A SHORT STORY

Lucille Boehm      241

TWO-BIT PIECE

Lucille Boehm      244

THE FINE LINE: A STORY OF THE COLOR LINE

Marian Minus      246

UNCLE BEN

Helen Faw Mull      254

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW

Ramona Lowe      257

A DAY’S PAY: A SHORT STORY

Elise D. Challeno      261

THE RED DRESS: A SHORT STORY

Grace W. Tompkins      264

HALF-BRIGHT: A SHORT STORY

Marian Minus      269

MAMMY (A SHORT STORY)

Dorothy West      275

THE BISHOP AND THE LANDLADY

Patsy Graves      281

EXCESS BAGGAGE

Helen Faw Mull      287

SALLY

Duanna Dungye      290

THE LITTLE THAT IS EVERYTHING

Elsie A. Parry      292

PORTRAIT OF A CITIZEN

Zora L. Barnes      295

THE SIMPLE ONE

Alice I. Murray      299

CITIZEN IN THE SOUTH

Ruby Rohrlich      303

“FAITH”

Doris Peters      308

TWO WORLDS

Helen Bayne Anthony      312

REQUIEM

Zora L. Barnes      314

BIG JOE: A SHORT SHORT STORY

Stella Kamp      318

TELL IT TO US EASY

Eleanor Simms      319

ONE BLUE STAR

May Miller      322

THE SOULS OF WHITE CHILDREN

Mary Capotosto      325

MRS. MILLENNIUM

Frances Evans Layer      329

DARK QUARRY

Babette Stiefel      333

CONCERTO

Shirley Nelson Shuman      339

THE BONES OF LOUELLA BROWN

Ann Petry      340

GOLD IS WHERE YOU FIND IT

Alberta Thomas      349

A CHANGE OF SCENERY

Rosalie Lieberman      351

NOT IN THE RECORD

Elizabeth Walker Reeves      353

Index      357