Addison Gayle

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Addison Gayle, Jr. (June 2, 1932 - October 3, 1991) was a professor[1], literary critic[2], and author in New York City. He advocated for a Black aesthetic.[3]

Gayle was born in Newport News, Virginia, he graduated from the City College of New York in 1965 with a B.A. and received an M.A. in English from UCLA a year later.[4] He taught English at Bernard M. Baruch College until his death in October 1991.[3]

He wrote that a Black aesthetic can be "a means of helping Black people out of the polluted mainstream of Americanism".[5]

Gayle edited Black Expression: Essays by and about Black Americans in the Creative Arts published by Weybright & Talley in 1969 and Bondage, Freedom and Beyond: The Prose of Black America published by Doubleday in Garden City, New York, 1970.

On September 12, 1965, Gayle married Rosalie Norwood, who was a lecturer at University of California, Los Angeles when they met, they divorced in 1971.


  • The Black Situation (1970)
  • The Black aesthetic (1971)
  • Oak and Ivy: A Biography of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1971)
  • Bondage, Freedom, and Beyond (1971)
  • Claude McKay: The Black Poet at War (1972)
  • The way of the new world (1975)
  • Richard Wright: Ordeal of a Native Son
  • Wayward Child: A Personal Odyssey (1977)


  1. ^ Blau, Eleanor (5 October 1991). "Addison Gayle Jr., Literary Critic, Is Dead at 59". Archives. New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  2. ^ Norment, Nathaniel (2005). "ADDISON GAYLE, JR.: "THE CONSUMMATE BLACK CRITIC" 1932-1991". CLA Journal. College Language Association. 48 (4): 353–386. ISSN 0007-8549. JSTOR 44325280.
  3. ^ a b "Addison, Jr. Gayle (1932-1991) • BlackPast". BlackPast. 4 March 2010.
  4. ^ Bader, Philip (14 May 2014). African-American Writers. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438107837.
  5. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (1 December 1974). "Black World/Negro Digest". Johnson Publishing Company.