Margo Jefferson is the author of Negroland: A Memoir.
From her Q & A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: You write, “I call it Negroland because I still find ‘Negro’ a word of wonders, glorious and subtle.” Why do you find it so, and why did you choose “Negroland” as the title of your book?--Marshal Zeringue
A: “Negro” was my formative racial designation, the primary marker of that identity. It was, in the years I grew up, the chosen, the preferred word of my people, capitalized of course. (As colored” had preceded it as the chosen word; as “black” and “African-American would succeed it).
“The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History,” “The Negro National Anthem,” “The National Council of Negro Women” – the word it was everywhere in our history and in our everyday talk. So I wanted it to designate a certain historical time and period.
And I wanted “land” to suggest, evoke, several things. The sense of totality that world had, and its borders, which could be fixed or permeable. I mean this literally in terms of...[read on]