The Norton Anthology of African American Literature

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Henry Louis Gates, Nellie Y. McKay
W.W. Norton & Company, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 2665 pages
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An anthology of the work of 120 writers spanning two centuries, this book covers the earliest known work by an African American, Lucy Terry's poem Bars Fight, to the writing of Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, and Poet Laureate Rita Dove. It begins with blues, gospel, spirituals, rap, sermons, prayers, testimonies and speeches, and continues with writing of all genres: poetry, short fiction, novels, drama, autobiography, journals and letters, including the full text of 11 major works.

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NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICA

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In this anthology, blues, gospel, jazz, rap, and sermons take center stage. In close proximity are poetry, fiction, drama, and autobiography by major authors like Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Toni Morrison. Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was born on September 16, 1950, in Keyser, West Virginia. He received a degree in history from Yale University in 1973 and a Ph.D. from Clare College, which is part of the University of Cambridge in 1979. He is a leading scholar of African-American literature, history, and culture. He began working on the Black Periodical Literature Project, which uncovered lost literary works published in 1800s. He rediscovered what is believed to be the first novel published by an African-American in the United States. He republished the 1859 work by Harriet E. Wilson, entitled Our Nig, in 1983. He has written numerous books including Colored People: A Memoir, A Chronology of African-American History, The Future of the Race, Black Literature and Literary Theory, and The Signifying Monkey: Towards a Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism. In 1991, he became the head of the African-American studies department at Harvard University. He is now the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at the university. He wrote and produced several documentaries including Wonders of the African World, America Beyond the Color Line, and African American Lives. He has also hosted PBS programs such as Wonders of the African World, Black in Latin America, and Finding Your Roots.

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