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African American Literature Resources

This guide contains books, periodicals and databases in Buley Library as well as web sites on African American Literature.

Finding More

The boxes below contain curated lists of books. 

To find more, including the most recent additions, use SouthernSearch. Some possible subject headings include:

 African Americans -- Literary collections 

American literature -- African American authors

American literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism

African American authors -- Biography 

American drama -- African American authors

You can, of course, also use keyword searching rather than subject headings. For example:

Richard Wright

African American writers

African American playwrights


Afro-American women writers, 1746-1933 : an anthology and critical guide
The best short stories by Negro writers; an anthology from 1899 to the present
Black & white in American culture; an anthology from the Massachusetts review
Black drama in America: an anthology
The Black experience; an anthology of American literature for the 1970s
Children of the night : the best short stories by Black writers, 1967 to the present
The complete collected poems of Maya Angelou
Crossing the danger water : three hundred years of African-American writing
Double-take : a revisionist Harlem Renaissance anthology
Every shut eye ain't asleep : an anthology of poetry by African Americans since 1945
Giant steps : the new generation of African American writers
Harlem's glory : Black women writing, 1900-1950
Home girls : a Black feminist anthology
I am the darker brother : an anthology of modern poems by African Americans
In his own voice : the dramatic and other uncollected works of Paul Laurence Dunbar
In the life : a Black gay anthology
I love myself when I am laughing ... and then again when I am looking mean and impressive : a Zora Neale Hurston reader
Jump Jim Crow : lost plays, lyrics, and street prose of the first Atlantic popular culture
My soul has grown deep : classics of early African-American literature
My soul's high song : the collected writings of Countee Cullen, voice of the Harlem Renaissance
The North Carolina roots of African American literature: an anthology
The Norton anthology of African American literature
The Norton anthology of short fiction
The Portable Harlem Renaissance reader
The Prentice Hall anthology of African American Women's literature
Reading black, reading feminist : a critical anthology
Step into a world : a global anthology of the new Black literature
A treasury of Afro-American folklore : the oral literature, traditions, recollections, legends, tales, songs, religious beliefs, customs, sayings, and humor of peoples of African descent in the Americas
Unchained voices : an anthology of Black authors in the English-speaking world of the eighteenth century


100 most popular African American authors : biographical sketches and bibliographies
African American authors, 1745-1945 : bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook
African American autobiographers : a sourcebook
African American literary theory : a reader
African American literature : a guide to reading interests
Afro-American fiction writers after 1955
African, Caribbean, and Latin American writers
Afro-American writers, 1940-1955
Afro-American writers after 1955 : dramatists and prose writers
Afro-American writers before the Harlem renaissance
American poets, 1880-1945, second series
American short-story writers, 1910-1945. First series
An annotated bibliography of jazz fiction and jazz fiction criticism
Best literature by and about Blacks
Black Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Young Adults
Black writers : a selection of sketches from contemporary authors
Black writers in New England: a bibliography, with biographical notes, of books by and about Afro-American writers associated with New England in the collection of Afro-American literature, Suffolk University, Museum of Afro-American History, Boston African American National Historic Site
Blacks in the humanities, 1750-1984 : a selected annotated bibliography
The Cambridge companion to Ralph Ellison
Claude McKay : the literary identity from Jamaica to Harlem and beyond
Contemporary African American novelists: a bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook
Contemporary authors
Contemporary authors; a bio-bibliographical guide to current authors and their works.
Contemporary authors; a bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television and other fields
Contemporary authors autobiography series
Contemporary literary criticism
The Harlem Renaissance and beyond : literary biographies of 100 Black women writers, 1900-1945
James Baldwin : a biography
Langston Hughes : a documentary volume
Living Black American authors: a biographical directory
Modern Black American fiction writers
Modern Black American poets and dramatists
Nineteenth-century literature criticism
Notable African American writers
The pen is ours : a listing of writings by and about African-American women before 1910 with secondary bibliography to the present
Phillis Wheatley and the Romantics 
Postcolonial African writers: a bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook
Richard Wright : the life and times
The Schomburg Center guide to black literature : from the eighteenth century to the present
Selected Black American, African, and Caribbean authors : a bio-bibliography
The Slave's narrative
Southern Black creative writers, 1829-1953 : biobibliographies
Twentieth-century Caribbean and Black African writers 
Twentieth-century literary criticism
Zora Neale Hurston : an annotated bibliography and reference guide
Zora Neale Hurston : a biography of the spirit


African American autobiography : a collection of critical essays
African American autobiography and the quest for freedom
African American literary criticism, 1773 to 2000
The African diaspora & autobiographics : skeins of self and skin
The Afro-American novel and its tradition
The Afro-American novel since 1960
Afro-blue : improvisations in African American poetry and culture
Beyond Douglass: new perspectives on early African-American literature
The Black Arts Movement: literary nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s
Black Americans and Organized Labor A New History
The Black "I": author and audience in African-American literature
Black like us : a century of lesbian, gay and bisexual African American fiction
Black literate lives : historical and contemporary perspectives
Black literature and literary theory
Black literature criticism : classic and emerging authors since 1950
Black literature criticism : excerpts from criticism of the most significant works of Black authors over the past 200 years
Black literature criticism : excerpts from criticism of the most significant works of Black authors over the past 200 years : supplement
Black on Black : twentieth-century African American writing about Africa
Blackness and value : seeing double
Burnin' down the house : home in African American literature
Cambridge companion to the African American novel
The Cambridge Companion to the African American Slave Narrative
Circles of sorrow, lines of struggle : the novels of Toni Morrison
Color & culture : Black writers and the making of the modern intellectual
The Columbia companion to the twentieth-century American short story
Constructing the Black masculine : identity and ideality in African American men's literature and culture, 1775-1995
Contemporary African American literature: the living canon
Deans and truants : race and realism in African American literature
Disturbing calculations : the economics of identity in postcolonial Southern literature, 1912-2002
Eating the Black body : miscegenation as sexual consumption in African American literature and culture
The ebony column: classics, civilization and the African American reclamation of the west
Exodus politics: Civil rights and leadership in African American literature and culture
Faithful vision : treatments of the sacred, spiritual, and supernatural in twentieth-century African American fiction
Fettered genius : the African American bardic poet from slavery to civil rights
Figures in Black : words, signs, and the "racial" self
From Harlem to Paris : Black American writers in France, 1840-1980
From Richard Wright to Toni Morrison : ethics in modern & postmodern American narrative
From within the frame : storytelling in African-American fiction
The gong and the flute: African literary development and celebration
The ideologies of African American literature : from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black nationalist revolt : a sociology of literature perspective
The jazz trope : a theory of African American literary and vernacular culture
Language and literature in the African American imagination
Laughing fit to kill: black humor in the fictions of slavery
Master plots : race and the founding of an American literature, 1787-1845
Narrative conventions and race in the novels of Toni Morrison
New essays on the African American novel : from Hurston and Ellison to Morrison and Whitehead
Once upon a time in a different world : issues and ideas in African American children's literature
The primate's dream : literature, race, and ethnicity in America

Quiet as it's kept : shame, trauma, and race in the novels of Toni Morrison
Race, rape, and lynching : the red record of American literature, 1890-1912
Race, slavery, and liberalism in nineteenth-century American literature
Race, theft, and ethics: property matters in African American literature
Racial myths and masculinity in African American Literature
Revisiting racialized voice: African American ethos in language and literature
Saints, sinners, saviors: strong Black women in African American Literature
Scarring the black body: race and representation in African American Literature
The signifying monkey : a theory of Afro-American literary criticism
Signifyin(g), sanctifyin', & slam dunking : a reader in African American expressive culture
The slave's rebellion: literary, history, orature
South of tradition : essays on African American literature
The sovereignty of quiet: beyond resistance in black culture
Telling narratives : secrets in African American literature
The tragic black buck: racial masquerading in the American literary imagination
To hell and back : race and betrayal in the southern novel
The Underground Railroad in African American Literature
We wear the mask : African Americans write American literature, 1760-1870
The white image in the black mind: a study of African American literature
Writing the future of Black America: literature of the hip-hop generation

Women and Women Authors

African American literature and the classicist tradition: Black women writers form Wheatley to Morrison
Afro-American women writers, 1746-1933 : an anthology and critical guide
Alice Walker : a life
Alice Walker, an annotated bibliography 1968-1986
Black American women in literature : a bibliography, 1976 through 1987
Black feminist criticism : perspectives on Black women writers
The Black feminist reader
Black women, identity and cultural theory: (un)becoming the subject
Black women novelists
Black women writers (1950-1980) : a critical evaluation
The collected autobiographies of Maya Angelou
The complete collected poems of Maya Angelou
Critical Companion to Maya Angelou: a literary reference to her life and works
The coupling convention : sex, text, and tradition in Black women's fiction
Encyclopedia of African American women writers
Feminism in literature : a Gale critical companion
Harlem's glory : Black women writing, 1900-1950
The history of southern women's literature
Inventing black women : African American women poets and self-representation, 1877-2000
Mammy : a century of race, gender, and Southern memory
Maya Angelou : a critical companion
Maya Angelou: a glorious celebration
Mutha' is half a word : intersections of folklore, vernacular, myth, and queerness in black female culture
No crystal stair : visions of race and gender in Black women's fiction
The Oxford companion to women's writing in the United States
Phillis Wheatley's poetics of liberation : backgrounds and contexts
Powers divine : spiritual autobiography and black women's writing
Reading black, reading feminist : a critical anthology
Render me my song : African-American women writers from slavery to the present
Rise up singing! Black women writers on motherhood
Short fiction by Black women, 1900-1920
Something akin to freedom: the choice of bondage in narratives by African American women
Speaking power : Black feminist orality in women's narratives of slavery
Toni Morrison : a critical companion
Toni Morrison and the idea of Africa
The Toni Morrison encyclopedia
Toni Morrison's fiction : contemporary criticism
Transforming scriptures: African American women writers and the bible
The trials of Phillis Wheatley : America's first Black poet and her encounters with the founding fathers
Understanding Rita Dove
Virginia Hamilton
Women and race in contemporary U.S. writing : from Faulkner to Morrison
Women, violence and testimony in the works of Zora Neale Hurston
The world of Toni Morrison : a guide to characters and places in her novels
Writing African American women : an encyclopedia of literature by and about women of color
Written by herself : literary production by African American women, 1746-1892
Zora Neale Hurston : a reference guide
A Zora Neale Hurston companion
Zora Neale Hurston's Their eyes were watching God