What do you know about "A Solo Song: For Doc" by James Alan McPherson?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"A Solo Song: For Doc" is a short story written by James Alan McPherson who won a 1980 Pulitzer Prize for his short story collection Elbow Room, his second collection of short stories, and who has been a Professor of English at the University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of Iowa, from which he received his M.F.A. degree. "A Solo Song: For Doc" is a story about the oral stories that a young waiter hears from an old waiter about Doc Craft.

It is a highly representative story that symbolizes the important contributions to his story-telling craft that McPherson has gained from the older generations of African American oral story tellers. McPherson, who has regularly written for The Atlantic periodical, once said that those "who are black" and who have been forced to "defend [their] humanity" must continue to defend their humanity on higher and "higher levels of consciousness." As a realization of this, he incorporates oral tradition within his written stories as a defense of the humanity of previous black storytellers as well as the humanity of present black storytellers. A link to the short story "A Solo Song: For Doc" is available through GoogleBooks.com

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