"Ain't But a Place"
An Anthology of African American Writings about St. Louis
Distributed for Missouri History Museum Press
Gerald Early writes in the introduction to "Ain't But a Place": An Anthology of African American Writings about St. Louis, "An impressive amount of artistic energy is generated in St. Louis, and the source of a good deal of that energy is its African American citizenry." Although the majority of writers and entertainers left St. Louis "to engage their muse and quarrel with American culture from another location," the experience gained from the St. Louis region has remained prominent in the expressions. "Ain't But a Place" captures voices that comprise the African American experience in St. Louis over the past two hundred years. This rich collection spans a variety of genres to include the words of such notables as freed slaves and abolitionists William Wells Brown and Lucy Delaney, sports greats Bob Gibson, Henry Armstrong, and Jackie Joyner Kersee; entertainers Dick Gregory, Miles Davis, Chuck Berry, and Tina Turner; and writers Eddy Harris, Ntozake Shange, Quincy Troupe, and Eugene Redmond.
"Ain't But a Place" makes ideal reading for the student of African American culture, as well as anyone interested in the formative experiences of some of this regions most influential individuals.