Black Writers of America

Black Writers of America - Richard Barksdale - 9780137793990 (60)
Richard Barksdale / Keneth Kinnamon  
Total pages
July 1997
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For courses focusing on African American Writers. These courses are offered in English Departments, Ethnic Studies Departments, and African-American Studies Departments.

This comprehensive collection of Afro-American literature - from its beginnings to the 1970s - provides a generous selection of autobiographies, essays, speeches, letters, political pamphlets, histories, journals, and folk literature as well as poems, plays, and stories - all chosen for their artistic and social significance. A carefully structured organization and the scope and diversity of selections make the anthology suitable to a variety of approaches - chronological, by topic, by theme, or by genre.


  • Now available in paperback!
  • Serves as an introduction not only to the literature of African-Americans, but to their intellectual and social history as well. Pg.___
  • Features a scope and diversity of selections and a carefully structured organization that make the anthology suitable to a variety of approaches. Pg.___
    • Enables selections to be used chronologically, by topic, by theme, or by genre. Pg.___

  • Provides introductions to the six chronological periods. Pg.___
    • Examines the literature of the period and relates it closely to the life and circumstances out of which it grew. Pg.___

  • Includes Headnotes with critical assessments as well as biographical facts. Pg.___
  • Offers extensive suggestions for further reading - at the end of each Headnote and in the Bibliography at the end of the book - enabling students to pursue their individual interests. Pg.___
  • Features, wherever feasible, complete works rather than fragments. Pg.___
  • Can be shrink-wrapped with select contemporary novels by African-American writers. Ask your Prentice Hall representative for details.

Table of Contents


The Major Writers.
Olaudah Equiano.

From The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African.

Phyllis Wheatley.

On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770.On Virtue. To the University of Cambridge, in New England. On Being Brought from Africa to America. An Hymn to the Morning. A Farewell to America. To His Excellency General Washington.

A Poet and an Intellectual.
Jupiter Hammon.

An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ with Penetential Cries. An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly, Ethiopian Poetess.

Benjamin Banneker.

A Mathematical Problem in Verse. Letter to Thomas Jefferson.


The Major Writers.
Frederick Douglass.

From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Oration, Delivered in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, July 5, 1852.

Rev. Alexander Crummell.

The Relations and Duties of Free Colored Men in America to Africa.

The Struggle for Civil Rights.
Theodore S. Wright.

Letter to Rev. Archibald Alexander, D.D.

William Whipper.

An Address on Non-Resistance to Offensive Aggression.

Robert Purvis.

Appeal of Forty Thousand Citizens, Threatened with Disfranchisement, to the People of Pennsylvania.

Black Abolitionists.
David Walker.

From David Walker's Appeal.

Nat Turner.

The Confessions of Nat Turner.

Henry Highland Garnet.

An Address to the Slaves of the United States of America.

William Wells Brown.

From Clotel. Visit of a Fugitive Slave to the Grave of Wilberforce.

Black Nationalists.
John Browne Russwurm.

The Condition and Prospects of Hayti.

Martin D. Delany.

From The Condition, Elevation, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States, Politically Considered.

The Fugitive Slave Narrative.
Moses Roper.

From A Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper, from American Slavery.

George Moses Horton.

Slavery. The Slave's Complaint. On Hearing of the Intention of a Gentleman to Purchase the Poet's Freedom.

James M. Whitfield.

From America.

Frances Watkins Harper.

The Slave Mother. Bury Me in a Free Land.

Rev. Lemuel B. Haynes.

Universal Salvation - A Very Ancient Doctrine.

Folk Literature.

How Buck Won His Freedom. Swapping Dreams. Lias' Revelation. The Fox and the Goose. Tar Baby. Big Sixteen and the Devil. Marster's Body and Soul.


De Ole Nigger Driver. Sellin' Time. JUba. Mistah Rabbit. Raise a Ruckus Tonight. Who-zen John, Who-za. Misse Got a Gold Chain. Zip e Duden Duden. Juber. The Stoker's Chant. Uncle Gabriel. Gen'el Jackson. Mary, Don You Weep. Gonna Shout. When-a Mah Blood Runs Chilly an Col. Soon One Mawnin. Motherless Child. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Nobody Knows da Trubble Ah See. Were You Dere. Do, Lawd. Dis Worl Mos Done. Shout Along, Chillen.


The Black Man in Battle.
William Wells Brown.

From The Negro in the American Rebellion: His Heroism and His Fidelity.

George Washington Williams.

From A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865.

Two Black Soldiers Comment.
Corporal John A. Cravat.

Four Letters.

An “Old” Sergeant.

Dat's All What I Has to Say Now.

A Black Orator Speaks.
Rev. Henry Highland Garnet.

A Memorial Discourse Delivered in the Hall of the House of Representatives, February 12, 1865.

Two Black Women Serve and Observe.
Charlotte Forten Grimké.

From Journal of Charlotte Forten.

Elizabeth Keckley.

From Behind the Scenes.

Folk Literature of Emancipation and Freedom.

We'll Soon Be Free. Rock About My Saro Jane. Don wid Driber's Dribin'. Many a Thousand Die. Freedom.


The Major Writers.
Charles W. Chesnutt.

The Goophered Grapevine. The Wife of His Youth. The Passing of Grandison.

Paul Laurence Dunbar.

We Wear the Mask. The Colored Soldiers. Ships That Pass in the Night. Ere Sleep Comes Down to Soothe the Weary Eyes. Dawn. The Party. A Negro Love Song. When Malindy Sings. Sympathy. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Soliloquy of a Turkey. The Poet. In the Morning. A Death Song. Compensation. Jimsella.

W. E. B. Du Bois.

From The Souls of Black Folk. Resolutions at Harpers Ferry, 1906. A Litany of Atlanta. The Immediate Program of the American Negro (1915). In Black (1920). From The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois.

George Washington Williams.

From History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880.

Booker T. Washington.

From Up from Slavery.

Race Politics.
Robert Brown Elliott.

Speech on the Civil Rights Bill Delivered in the United States Congress, January 6, 1874.

Blanche K. Bruce.

Address Delivered to the United States Senate in Behalf of Admitting P. B. S. Pinchback, March 3, 1876. Speech to the United States Senate on Mississippi Election, Delivered March 31, 1876.

Albery A. Whitman.

From Rape of Florida.

James Edwin Campbell.

Ol' Doc' Hyar. When Ol' Sis' Judy Pray.

William Stanley Braithwaite.

Rhapsody. Scintilla. The Watchers. Sandy Star.

Fenton Johnson.

Tired. The Scarlet Woman.

Folk Literature.

The Talkin Mule.

Prison Songs.

No Mo Cane on Dis Brazis. Go Down, Ol' Hannah. Po Laz'us. Another Man Don Gon.

Bad Man Songs.

Railroad Bill. Stackerlee and de Debbil. John Hardy.

The Blues.

Shorty George. Goin Down the Road. Pity a Poor Boy. Dink's Blues. Frankie Baker.

Work Songs.

Casey Jones. John Henry. Dis Hammer. Rainbow Roun Mah Shoulder. Railroad Section Leader's Song. Long-Line Skinner's Blues.


The Major Writers.
James Weldon Johnson.

From The Book of American Negro Poetry. Sence You Went Away. Fifty Years (1863-1913). O Black and Unknown Bards. The White Witch. Fragment. Go Down Death - A Funeral Sermon.

Claude McKay.

Spring in New Hampshire. My Mother. Flame-Heart. The Tropics in New York. If We Must Die. The Lynching. Like a Strong Tree. Tiger. The Desolate City. America. Harlem Shadows. The Harlem Dancer. The White House. St. Isaac's Church, Petrograd. Flower of Love. A Memory of June. Memorial. From Home to Harlem.

Jean Toomer.

From Cane. Blue Meridian.

Langston Hughes.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Mother to Son. Jazzonia. Dream Variation. I, Too. The Weary Blues. Cross. Bound No'th Blues. Brass Spittoons. Song for a Dark Girl. Sylvester's Dying 'Bed. Ballad of the Landlord. Dream Boogie. From The Big Sea. Dear Dr. Butts.

Countee Cullen.

Yet Do I Marvel. A Brown Girl Dead. Incident. Heritage. For John Keats, Apostle of Beauty. For Paul Laurence Dunbar.She of the Dancing Feet Sings. To John Keats, Poet. At Springtime. From the Dark Tower. Threnody for a Brown Girl. Variations on a Theme. A Song of Sour Grapes. That Bright Chimeric Beast. Little Sonnet to Little Friends. Therefore, Adieu. Nothing Endures. Black Majesty. Magnets. A Negro Mother's Lullaby.

Richard Wright.

The Ethics of Living Jim Crow. Big Boy Leaves Home.

Oratory and Essays.
Marcus Garvey.

Speech Delivered at Liberty Hall N.Y.C. During Second International Convention of Negroes, August 1921. Speech Delivered at Madison Square Garden, March 1924.

Alain Locke.

The New Negro.

Walter White.

I Investigate Lynchings.

Rudolph Fisher.

The City of Refuge.

Eric Walrond.


Wallace Thurman.

Grist in the Mill.

Zora Neale Hurston.

The Gilded Six-Bits.

Chester Himes.

Salute to the Passing.

Angelina Grimké.

A Mona Lisa. Grass Fingers.

Anne Spencer.

Lines to a Nasturtium. Letter to My Sister.

Arna Bontemps.

A Black Man Talks of Reaping. Reconnaissance. Nocturne at Bethesda. Southern Mansion.

Sterling A. Brown.

Old Lem. Strong Men.

Margaret Walker.

For My People.

Willis Richardson.

The Broken Banjo.

Folk Literature.
Political Songs.

Garvey. Joe Turner.

A Breakdown.

Ol' Ant Kate, She Died So Late.

The Blues.

The Blues Come fum Texas. St. James Infirmary Blues. Just Blues. Southern Blues. Easy Rider. Put It Right Here or Keep It Out There.


The Signifying Monkey. Shine and the Titanic.


The Major Writers.
Melvin B. Tolson.

Dark Symphony. From Harlem Gallery.

Robert Hayden.

Frederick Douglass. Runagate Runagate. Homage to the Empress of the Blues. A Ballad of Remembrance. Tour. Mourning Poem for the Queen of Sunday. Middle Passage.

Ralph Ellison.

Richard Wright's Blues. And Hickman Arrives.

Gwendolyn Brooks.

The Mother. Of De Witt Williams on His Way to Lincoln Cemetery. Piano After War. Mentors. “Do Not Be Afraid of No.” The Children of the Poor. We Real Cool. The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock. Riders to the Blood-Red Wrath. Way-Out Morgan. The Wall. Loam Norton.

James Baldwin.

Everybody's Protest Novel. Sonny's Blues.

Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones).

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note. An Agony. As Now. A Poem for Black Hearts. leroy. Black People! The Last Days of the American Empire (Including Some Instructions for Black People). Nationalism Vs. PimpArt.

Ann Petry.

Like a Winding Sheet.

William Demby.

The Table of Wishes Come True.

Paule Marshall.


Ernest J. Gaines.

The Sky Is Gray.

William Melvin Kelley.

The Dentist's Wife.

Owen Dodson.

Sorrow Is the Only Faithful One. Yardbird's Skull.

Dudley Randall.

Booker T. and W. E. B. Legacy: My South. Perspectives.

Samuel Allen.

A Moment Please. To Satch. Nat Turner.

Margaret Danner.

Far from Africa: Four Poems.

Mari E. Evans.

When in Rome. Black Jam for Dr. Negro.

Etheridge Knight.

The Idea of Ancestry. 2 Poems for Black Relocation Centers.

Conrad Kent Rivers.

To Richard Wright. On the Death of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by African Moonlight and Forgotten Shores.

Don L. Lee.

Assassination. A Poem Looking for a Reader.

Sonia Sanchez.

Small Comment.

Nikki Giovanni.

For Saundra.

Carlton W. Molette II and Barbara Molette.

Rosalee Pritchett.

Nathan Hare.

The Challenge of a Black Scholar.

Racial Spokesmen.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

From Stride Toward Freedom. Letter from Birmingham Jail. I Have a Dream.

Malcolm X.

From The Autobiography ofMalcolm X.

Eldridge Cleaver.

To All Black Women, From All Black Men.

Folk Literature.
The Blues.

Young Boy Blues. Fogyism. Backdoor Blues. Married Woman Blues. A Big Fat Mama. Crazy Blues. Monte Carlo Blues. How Long Blues. Black Woman. Bibliography. Index of Authors and Titles.