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HB-268162-20

Daniel Edward Royles
Florida International University Board of Trustees (Miami, FL 33199-2516)
An Intellectual Biography of Claude Brown (1937-2002), Author of Manchild in the Promised Land

Research and writing a biography of Claude Brown (1937-2002), American author of Manchild in the Promised Land (1965).

Manchild in the Promised Land, Claude Brown’s autobiographical novel first published in 1965, won praise from critics upon its release and has sold millions of copies worldwide. Brown offered a gritty portrayal of everyday Harlemites’ struggles to survive during the 1940s and 50s, and recounted his troubled youth spent in and out of reform institutions. Brown published his novel just as Americans were struggling to make sense of urban violence and growing black militancy alongside the victories of the Civil Rights Movement. Amid the growing urban crisis, Brown used the success of Manchild to carve out a role for himself as a commentator on gang violence and the War on Drugs. Using archival and oral history research, this project will trace Brown’s life and career, as well as his influence on discussions of race in the United States from the late 1960s to the present.

Project fields:
African American History; Intellectual History; Urban History

Program:
Awards for Faculty

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021