"This work is both ambitious and timely. Unlike biographically based references, it focuses on the texts of African American literature and the trends and events that have influenced it. Opening with an overview and chronology, the set has as its core over 1000 entries covering both canonized greats and lesser-known artists. These entries document the work of African American writers and their critics, literary forms and techniques, geographic hubs that generate significant output, and influential figures and movements that have shaped this diverse tradition….[t]his is an important addition to all collections." - Library Journal
"With substantial bibliographies for every entry and especially strong entries on minor figures and major controversies, it is already an indispensable addition to my library." - Year's Work in English Studies
"Gwendolyn Bennett was a poet and writer of short stories, and although she never published a book of either she kept the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance alive. Anne Spencer worked on her poetry 16 years before she was discovered and published, but it took almost no time before actor and writer Paul Robeson was discovered to be a socialist and reviled. In hundreds of objective and accessible entries, high school students, undergraduates and general readers can get the basics on the issues, events and people of African American literature. Contributors describe how writers, filmmakers and commentators reacted to social and political events, a unique approach that helps to define contexts. Writers, journalists, and editors are joined by others generally ignored in the literary world, including publishers, writers' collectives, niche journals, advocacy groups and marketeers. Entries include impressive lists of resources." - Reference & Research Book News
"US institutions catering for African American cultural studies would find this a marvellous resource." - Reference Reviews
"Junior high school students through high school students could use this set. The most obvious use is by literature classes, but American history classes could find uses too, especially in discussions of the historical and social issues. The articles provide good background materials for beginning research. Recommended." - Library Media Connection
"This very impressive and compulisvely browsable encyclopedia contains 1,029 entries written by more than two hundred academicians and subject specialists….All periods of history, from slavery to the present, are well-represented. When appropriate, entries weave history and literature seamlessly so that the reader will learn much more than dry facts about a given author or literary movement….It its a treat to see entries for writers who had fallen into oblivion until the rediscovery of their works….There really isn't anything like The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature in print….[s]hould be considered by large public libraries and all academic institutions." - Reference & User Services Quarterly.
"Designed for students from high school to college, this guide is also suitable for public libraries. From slave narratives to hip-hop, this set will serve researchers as a first-stop source on the full-range of African American literature." - Lawrence Looks at Books
"This comprehensive set covers the people, events, and themes relevant to the African-American experience and the literature that it inspired. More than 1000 signed entries of varying length are organized alphabetically and include biographical information as well as critical discussions of the works. Other articles describe major themes, historical events, places, cultural figures, and literary genres that continue to impact the African-American experience. Coverage ranges from the Colonial period through the present. Resources for further information appear at the end of each article and include both print resources and Internet sites. Alphabetical and thematic lists of entries (including important dates) appear in each volume and there is a comprehensive index in the final volume….[t]his is a completely accessible work. While it is by no means exhaustive (an impossible goal, the editors acknowledge), it is an important resource that should be considered by most libraries." - School Library Journal