Themes and Meanings

(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

There is no simple meaning to the Homewood trilogy. On one hand, these are three separate works that have been put together because they are set in the same locale, but on the other hand each has its own individual subjects. Calling them a trilogy does not cancel out their differences as three individual works of literature.

Still, they share certain meanings. On the most obvious level, the three volumes depict the life and history of one black neighborhood, a district that has all the dangers and all the potential strengths of any inner-city neighborhood. It is a geographical area of neighborhood bars, such as the Bucket of Blood and the Velvet Slipper, a neighborhood in which crime is common, drugs are taking over, and characters will be killed. It is an area with a history, but also an inner city where that history is slipping away. As Lucy says at the end of Sent for You Yesterday of characters like Brother Tate and John French,They made Homewood. Walking around, doing the things they had to do. Homewood wasn’t bricks and boards. Homewood was them singing and loving and getting where they needed to get. They made these streets. That’s why Homewood was real once. Cause they were real. . . . Just sad songs left. And whimpering. Nothing left to give the ones we supposed to be saving Homewood for. Nothing but empty hands and sad stories.

These stories obviously represent something vital to Wideman. The neighborhood provides myths...

(The entire section is 419 words.)