Date of first publication : 1974
Date started : 16 september 2000
Date finished : 22 september 2000
Rate (simply rate your enjoyment on a scale of 1-10): 5
Favourite moment, incident or chapter (with page references)
I don't have a favourite moment, because it's written in the same manner.
Would you recommend this book to another student? Why or why not?
Yes and no, yes, because it's a easy book to read. No, because it's a boring book, nothing exciting happens.
Genre (What type of fiction is it?)
It belongs to the Negro literature. Those kinds of books are about racial inequality and injustice. Negro literature therefore belongs to the larger category of literature of social protest which tries to bring about changes in society.
Narrator (Who is the "voice" telling the story)
The narrator is Tish, a Negro girl of 19. She's engaged to be married to Fonny.
Setting (Where does the story take place?)
It takes place in Harlem, a Negro district of New York.
When does the story take place?
In the sixties.
Who are the main charaters?
Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt : 22-year old, in jail for a crime he didn't commit, artist.
Clementine "Tish" Rivers : 19-year old, pregnant of Fonny.
The parents of Fonny and the parents of Tish are playing a big part in the story. Fonny and Tish are both still living at home.
The names of Fonny's parents are Frank and Mrs Hunt (her first name is not known. The names of Tish's her parents are Joseph and Sharon.
Tish has one sister, her name is Ernestine. Fonny has two sisters, Adrienne and Sheila.
Plot (brief outline)
The book tells the love story of Fonny and Tish, two young Negroes, who live in New York City. Things seem to be going very well for them, but then they become victims of racial prejudice and Fonny is arrested on a false charge of rape.
Shortly afterwards Tish finds herself pregnant. Tish and her family do everything in their power to prove Fonny's innocence, but by the end of the book they have only succeeded in getting him released on bail. As the book ends Tish's baby is about to be born.
Title (explanation of the title)
Beale street is the name of a street in Memphis, Tennessee. In that street they play a lot of Negrojazz music. In jazz music the black people sing about there problems.
The songs are often about racial discrimination. If that street could talk, it would tell many problems that black have. The same as in the street of Tish and Fonny.
Alternative title (make up your own title for the book)
The problems of Negroes.
Theme (why has the book been written)
Baldwin tries to express what it is like to be a black person in America. He also wants to tell how the Negro should play in this situation: should he, in order to have any kind of life at all, learn to accept the injustice and inequality, or should he fight against it with all his strength.
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