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The Collected Poems of Langston HughesThe Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes, Arnold Rampersad, David Roessel
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Spanning five decades and including 868 poems, this volume is the definitive sampling of one of the greatest and most popular poets since Walt Whitman. 717 pages, softcover.
     

 
PoemsPoems
Langston Hughes, David Roessel
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From the publication of his first book in 1926, Langston Hughes was hailed as the poet laureate of black America, the first to commemorate the experience of African Americans in a voice that no reader, black or white, could fail to hear. Lyrical and pungent, passionate and polemical, this volume is a treasure--an essential collection of the work of a poet whose words have entered our common language.
     

 
Invisible ManInvisible Man
Ralph Ellison
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Written in 1952, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is an existential novel that looks at the nature of bigotry and prejudice through a deeply sardonic lens. Following the life journey of an unnamed black narrator who is "invisible" not literally, but due to society's cultural constructions of humanity that erases the "other," this classic work brilliantly tackles the issues that African-Americans faced in the twentieth century. 571 pages, softcover.
     

 
Slave NarrativesSlave Narratives
Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs
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Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Douglass's own triumph over it. Like Douglass, Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery, and in 1861 she published Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, now recognized as the most comprehensive antebellum slave narrative written by a woman. Jacob's account broke the silence on the exploitation of African American female slaves, and it remains crucial reading. These narratives illuminate and inform each other. This edition includes an incisive introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah and extensive annotations.
     

 
Narrative of Sojourner TruthNarrative of Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth
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A symbol of the strength of African American women and a champion of the rights of all women, Sojourner Truth was an illiterate former slave named Isabella who transformed herself into a vastly powerful orator. Truth's magnetism brought her fame in her own time, and her story gives us a vivid picture of nineteenth-century life in the North, where blacks, enslaved or free, lived in relative isolation from one another. This volume contains the "Book of Life", including the "Ar'n't I a Woman" speech as well as "A Memorial Chapter" about her death. 264 pages, softcover.
     

 
Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
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This eloquent and dramatic autobiography of the early life of an American slave was first published in 1845, when its author was about twenty-eight years old and had just achieved his freedom. Although it was not uncommon during the era of American slavery for articulate Blacks who escaped to have their experiences published, Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass is unique among these "slave narratives" because of Douglass's eloquent power of expression. The publication of the book also marked the beginning of a career in which the militant and uncompromising Douglass emerged as the first great leader of Afro-Americans in the United States. The powers that enabled him to reach this position are abundantly clear in his Narrative, which, incidentally, was an invaluable source for Harriet Beecher Stowe while she was writing Uncle Tom's Cabin.
     

 
Black Voices: An Anthology of Afro-American LiteratureBlack Voices: An Anthology of Afro-American Literature
Abraham Chapman
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Ranging from writers Chesnutt to Hughes and featuring fiction, poetry, autobiography, and literary criticism, Black Voices captures the diverse and powerful words of a literary explosion. A comprehensive and impressive primer, this anthology presents some of the greatest and most enduring work born out of the African-American experience in the United States.
     

 
The Vintage Book of African American PoetryThe Vintage Book of African American Poetry
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In The Vintage Book of African American Poetry, editors Harper and Walton present the definitive collection of black verse in the United States - from the neoclassical stylings of slave - born Phillis Wheatley to the pst modern artistry of Yuslef Komunyakaa. Here is the oracular vision of Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott, the plaintive rhapsodies of an imprisioned Etheridge Knight. Here, too, is a landmark exploration of lesser known artists - including perhaps the tradition's most accomplished practicioner, Sterling A. Brown - whose efforts birthed the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts movements - and changed forver not only our national literature but the course of America itself. Meticulously researched, thoughtfully structured, The Vintage Book of African American Poetry is a collection of inestimable value to all those interested in the ever-evolving tradition that is American poetry.
     

 
Early African-American ClassicsEarly African-American Classics
Anthony S. Appiah
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The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,--this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self.... He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American.
     

 
The Portable Harlem Renaissance ReaderThe Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader
David Levering Lewis
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From its beginnings in 1919, with soldiers returning from the Great War, to its sputtering end in 1934, with the Great Depression, the New Negro Movement in arts and letters proclaimed the experiences of African American men and women in reverberating manifestos, poems of exhilarating energy and candor, and in novels, short stories, essays, and plays.
The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader magnificently represents the great voices of this era. With an introduction, chronology, and contextual headnotes by David Levering Lewis, the volume includes the work of some forty-five Renaissance figures: short fiction and self-contained novel excerpts by Zora Neal Hurston, Nella Larsen, Wallace Thurman, Jean Toomer and others.
     

 
Conjure WomanConjure Woman
Charles Chesnutt
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This collection contains all the stories in Chesnutt's two pioneering volumes of short fiction. The Conjure Woman (1899) and The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line (1899). Centered on the world of slavery and the voodoo beliefs and practices that black people in the antebellum South used to help them resist the injustices of their social condition, The Conjure Woman features a new kind of black story teller, Uncle Julius McAdoo, who shrewdly adapts his recollections of the past to secure his economic advantage in the present, sometimes at the expense of his white employer, The Wife of His Youth Probes the moral conflicts and psychological strains experienced by those African Americans who lived closest to the color line in Chesnutt's day. This Penguin Classics edition adds two remarkable previously uncollected work: "Dave's Neckliss" and "Baxter's Procrustes."
     

 
God's TrombonesGod's Trombones
James Weldon Johnson
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In God's Trombones, one of James Weldon Johnson's most celebrated works, inspirational sermons of African American preachers are re-imagined as poetry, reverberating with the musicality and splendid eloquence of the spirituals.
     

 
The Penguin Book of Modern African PoetryThe Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry
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Arranged by country, this compilation features the best and most evocative poetry coming out of Modern Africa. Foremost of the African arts, over ninety-nine poets are included here, covering topics from war to love to political protests. Notes on each poet and poem sources, as well as a first-line and poet index are also included. 448 pages, softcover.
     

 
SounderSounder
William H. Armstrong
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A landmark in children's literature, winner of the 1970 Newbery Medal and the basis of an acclaimed film, Sounder traces the keen sorrow and the abiding faith of a poor African-American boy in the 19th-century South. The boy's father is a sharecropper, struggling to feed his family in hard times. Night after night, he and his great coon dog, Sounder, return to the cabin empty-handed. Then one morning, almost like a miracle, a sweet-smelling ham is cooking in the family's kitchen. At last the family will have a good meal. But that night, an angry sheriff and his deputies come, and the boy's life will never be the same. Recommended for age 10 and up. The 1970 Newbery Medal winner.
     

 
Slave NarrativesSlave Narratives
Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs
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Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Douglass's own triumph over it. Like Douglass, Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery, and in 1861 she published Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, now recognized as the most comprehensive antebellum slave narrative written by a woman. Jacob's account broke the silence on the exploitation of African American female slaves, and it remains crucial reading. These narratives illuminate and inform each other. This edition includes an incisive introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah and extensive annotations.
     

 
The Souls of Black FolkThe Souls of Black Folk
W.E.B. DuBois
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Social reformer and activist W.E.B. Du Bois expresses his passionate concern for the future of his race in this 1903 collection of essays depicting the psychological effects of segregation on American society. This classic exploration of the moral and intellectual issues surrounding the perception of blacks within American society remains an important document of our social and political history.
     

 
Poems of Phillis WheatleyPoems of Phillis Wheatley
Phillis Wheatley
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Phillis Wheatley was America's first published Black poet. Her poems were published before the Revolutionary War and were recognized throughout the English speaking world. She was born in Africa, sold as a slave in America, and became a celebrity in Europe. In addition to the poems of Phillis Wheatley, this volume contains a short and poignant memoir of her life.
     

 
Interesting NarrativeInteresting Narrative
Olaudah Equiano
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Olaudah Equiano's Narrative recounts his kidnapping in Africa at the age of eleven, his service as the slave of and officer in the British Navy, and his years of labor on slave ships until he was able to purchase his freedom in 1766. As a free man on a Central American plantation, he supervised slaves; increasingly distinguished by his co-workers, he returned to England in 1777. In England he worked for the resettlement of blacks in Sierra Leone, married an Englishwoman, and became a leading and respected figure in the anti-slaverly movement. A facinating autobiography, a tale of spiritual quest and fulfillment, a sophisticated treatise on religion, politics, and economics, The Interesting Narrative is a work of enduring literary and historical value.
     

 
Incidents In The Life Of A Slave GirlIncidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl
Harriet Jacobs
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A haunting, evocative recounting of her life as a slave in North Carolina and of her final escape and emancipation, Harriet Jacob's classic narrative, written between 1853 and 1858 and published pseudonymously in 1861, tells firsthand of the horrors inflicted on slaves. In writing this extraordinary memoir, which culminates in the seven years she spent hiding in a crawl space in her grandmother's attic, Jacobs skillfully used the literary genres of her time, presenting a thoroughly feminist narrative that portrays the evils and traumas of slavery, particularly for women and children. Now with an introduction by renowned historian Nell Irvin Painter, this edition also includes "A True Tale of Slavery," the brief memoir of Harriet Jacob's brother, John S. Jacobs, originally published in a London periodical in 1861.
     

 
Anthony BurnsAnthony Burns
Virginia Hamilton
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Of great historical importance, the trial and life of Anthony Burns is a riveting story that highlights the battle abolitionists fought against southern slavers. Originally a slave in Virginia, Burns escaped to Boston, where he was captured and imprisoned according to the Fugitive Slave Act; however, the abolitionist community of Boston rallied to his aid, working together in the hopes that freedom would prevail. 193 indexed pages, softcover.
     

 
Army Life in a Black Regiment and Other WritingsArmy Life in a Black Regiment and Other Writings
Thomas Wenworth Higginson
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A stirring account of wartime experiences from the leader of the first regiment of emancipated slaves. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Unitarian minister, was a fervent member of New England's abolitionist movement, an active participant in the Underground Railroad, and part of a group that supplied material aid to John Brown before his ill-fated raid on Harpers Ferry. When the Civil War broke out, Higginson was commissioned as a colonel of the black troops training in the Sea Islands off the coast of the Carolinas.
Shaped by American Romanticism and imbued with Higginspn's interest in both man and nature, Army Life in a Black Regiment ranges from detailed reports tp a vivid description of the author's near escape from canon fire, to sketches that conjure up the beauty and mystery of the Sea Islands.
     

 
40-Day Journey with Maya Angelou40-Day Journey with Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
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One of the great voices of contemporary literature! Poet Angelou's wisdom as an author, educator, historian, and activist is legendary. Collected here are 40 inspiring passages to ponder, accompanied by an introduction to Angelou's life and work, questions for reflection and discussion, journaling suggestions, and daily prayers. For individuals or small groups.
     

 
Lift Every Voice and Sing: Selected PoemsLift Every Voice and Sing: Selected Poems
James Weldon Johnson, Sondra Kathryn Wilson
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Powerful poems of black life and achievement from a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance including his celebrated "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the African American National Anthem. James Weldon Johnson's name stirs up emotions which are contained only by tremendous control. His poetry is an exhortation to loose the bonds of dreary second-class citizenship and humiliating segregation and devastating racism. The lyrics bid the reader to be free, to walk with gratitude over ground red with the blood of our ancestors; encourages us to be free to bid the day good morning with hopeful heart, to adore the Creator with gladsome hearts for the battles won and to ask of that same Creator for strength for the battles yet to come. James Weldon Johnson aptly, deeply, with love and humor and a powerful rhyming tongue, has told our story and sung our song. Originally published as Saint Peter Relates a Incident.
     

 
The Books of American Negro SpiritualsThe Books of American Negro Spirituals
James Weldon Johnson, J. Rosamond Johnson
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In two elegant and masterly prefaces, James Weldon Johnson discusses the origin and history of more than 120 of the most significant spirituals known. Favorites like "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," "Deep River," and "Go Down, Moses" are arranged for voice and piano by his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, and considered within their African tradition.
     

 
Complete PoemsComplete Poems
James Weldon Johnson
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This year marks the centenary of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," James Weldon Johnson's most famous lyric, now embraced as the Negro National Anthem. In celebration, this Penguin original presents all the poems from Johnson's published works.
     

 

 

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Bound for Glory: Celebrating the Gift of African American Spirituals through Expressive Calligraphy

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How to Get Past Disappointment: Finding Hope

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The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life's Storms

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Hope For Every Moment, Devotional & Journal: 365 Days to Healing, Blessings, and Freedom

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India: The Divas

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#1: Finding Your Faith

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