For more than three centuries, African American women have been famous writers. In newspapers and magazines, in speeches and plays, and in novels and poetry, these black stars have spoken out against injustice, told stories about the people and places they loved, and imagined the possibilities of the future.
Brenda Wilkinson, an acclaimed African American writer herself, brings these powerful, intelligent women to life. On these pages, youll meet twenty-four African American women writers whose stories and ideas helped to make American literature great. From colonial times to modern times, discover the accomplishments of these women of distinction. Learn how:
Sojourner Truth, a former slave, electrified the abolitionist and womens rights movements. Her speech "Aint I a Woman?" stunned listeners with its honesty.
Frances E. W. Harper, orphaned at the age of three, grew up to write the bestselling novel by an African American in the Civil War and Reconstruction era.
Jessie Redmon Fauset, after studying French in Paris, returned to Harlem in New York City. Working with W. E. B. Du Bois, she edited The Brownies Book, a popular magazine for African American children.
Ann Petry, writing about black family life in the North, became the first African American author to sell a million copies of a book. She started her career as a reporter for a black newspaper.
Maya Angelou, author of the heartfelt memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, wrote a poem for President Bill Clintons inaugurationa first for an African American and a woman.
This comprehensive collection tells the stories of these and other fascinating and surprising women writers who made their dreams a reality.
The author is herself a writer of books for young adults. In the introduction she reflects on her early years in the segregated South and the lack of African America characters in the literature she was reading. That changed in the 1960s as publishers began to seek out more materials about ethnic minorities. During Wilkinson's years of research and writing, she became intrigued by the stories of black women writers and that led to this book which is a collection of biographies of significant black women authors. The work is divided into four parts with Phillis Wheatley and Sojourner Truth representing "The Early Years." The next section features writers who published during and immediately after the Civil War. The most familiar names may be Harriet Jacobs and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Moving "Into the New Century" readers will be introduced to Zora Neal Hurston, and Ann Petry. For "Modern Times" well-known authors such as Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison are featured. Little insets explain terms such as editor or a genre such as science fiction. Black-and-white-photographs or illustrations accompany each biography. At the end of the book there is a listing of books recommended for young readers--all written by black women. A chronology, bibliography and index are included. An excellent choice for research and casual reading. Part of the "Black Stars" series.