"We're the Only Colored People Here"

“We’re the Only Colored People Here” was printed in the inaugural volume of Black Sun Press’s Portfolio: An Intercontinental Quarterly. Brooks’s short story, excerpted from the manuscript that would become the novel Maud Martha (1953), is told from the perspective of a couple attempting to enjoy a night at the theater despite the uncomfortable reality alluded to in the title. Created by Caresse Crosby, an American expatriate and publisher in Paris, as an “exchange of thought between America and Europe,” Portfolio showcased avant-garde writers and artists. Notably, Brooks was the only Black writer whose work was featured in the volume, alongside that of Henry Miller, Kay Boyle, Karl Shapiro, and others.

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000)
“We’re the Only Colored People Here”
Portfolio: An Intercontinental Quarterly 1 (Summer 1945)
The Carter Burden Collection of American Literature; PML 182562.1
Reprinted By Consent of Brooks Permissions