Welcomed on publication as "brilliant, definitive, and a joy to teach from," The Norton Anthology of African American Literature was adopted at more than 1,275 colleges and universities worldwide. Now, the new Second Edition offers these highlights.
Collaborating on The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, editors Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay have compiled what may be the definitive collection of its kind. Organized chronologically, the massive work gathers writings from six periods of black history: slavery and freedom; Reconstruction; the Harlem Renaissance; Realism, Naturalism and Modernism; the Black Arts Movement and the period since the 1970s. The work begins with the vernacular tradition of spirituals, gospel and the blues; continues through work songs, jazz and rap; ranges through sermons and folktales; and embraces letters and journals, poetry, short fiction, novels, autobiography and drama. BOMC selection; companion audio CD.
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.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Ph.D.Cambridge), is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research, Harvard University. He is the author of Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513–2008; Black in Latin America; Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora; Faces of America; Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self; The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Criticism; Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars; Colored People: A Memoir; The Future of Race with Cornel West; Wonders of the African World; Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man; and The Trials of Phillis Wheatley. His is also the writer, producer, and narrator of PBS documentaries Finding Your Roots; Black in Latin America; Faces of America; African American Lives 1 and 2; Looking for Lincoln; America Beyond the Color Line; and Wonders of the African World. He is the editor of African American National Biography with Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and The Dictionary of African Biography with Anthony Appiah; Encyclopedia Africana with Anthony Appiah; and The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, as well as editor-in-chief of TheRoot.com.
Nellie Y. McKay (Ph.D. Harvard), General Editor. Professor of American and Afro-American Literature, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Associate editor of the African American Review; author of Jean Toomer—the Artist: A Study of His Literary Life and Work, 1894–1936; editor of Critical Essays on Toni Morrison; co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Beloved—A Casebook, and Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Toni Morrison.
William L. Andrews (Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) is the editor of The Literature of Slavery and Freedom; co-editor of The Literature of the Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance. He is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is general editor of Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Other works include The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt; To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography, 1760–1865; Sisters of the Spirit; The Curse of Caste by Julia C. Collins; Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave; and Slave Narratives after Slavery.
Houston A. Baker, Jr. (Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles), Editor, "The Black Arts Era." George D. and Susan Fox Beischer Professor of English, Duke University. Editor of American Literature; Editor of the anthology Black Literature in America and author of three books of poetry. Other works include Afro-American Poetics: Revisions of Harlem and The Black Aesthetic; Workings of the Spirit: A Poetics of Afro-American Women’s Writing; Black Studies, Rap, and the Academy; Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory; Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance; Turning South Again: Re-Thinking Modernism/Re-Reading Booker T.
Frances Smith Foster (Ph.D. University of California, San Diego), Editor, The Literature of the Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance; Co-Editor, The Literature of Slavery and Freedom. Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Emory University. Author of “Til Death or Distance Do Us Part”: Love and Marriage in African America; Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746–1892; and Witnessing Slavery: The Development of the Antebellum Slave Narrative. Co-editor of the Oxford Companion to African American Literature and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Editor of several works, including Love and Marriage in Early African America; Minnie’s Sacrifice, Sowing and Reaping, Trial and Triumph: Three Rediscovered Novels by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper; Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes; and the Norton Critical Edition of Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Deborah E. McDowell (Ph.D. Purdue), Co-Editor, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism. Alice Griffin Professor of English, University of Virginia. Founding editor of the Beacon Black Women Writers series; co-editor with Arnold Rampersad of Slavery of the Literary Imagination; author of "The Changing Same”: Studies in Fiction by Black Women; Leaving the Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin; editor of Nella Larsen's Quicksand and Passing, Jessie Redmon Fauset's Plum Bun, Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood, and numerous articles and essays.
Robert G. O'Meally (Ph.D. Harvard), Editor, The Vernacular Tradition. Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature and founder of the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University. Author of The Jazz Singers; The Craft of Ralph Ellison; Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday; and Romare Bearden; A Black Odyssey. Editor of the essay collections History and Memory in African American Culture; New Essays on Invisible Man: Tales of the Congaree; The Jazz Cadence of American Culture; co-editor of History and Memory in African American Culture and Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies.
Arnold Rampersad (Ph.D. Harvard) is the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, at Stanford University. He is co-editor (with Deborah E. McDowell) of Slavery and the Literary Imagination, and editor of the definitive Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. He is the author of the two-volume biography The Life of Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson: A Biography, and co-author (with Arthur Ashe) of Days of Grace: A Memoir. He is also editor of “The Harlem Renaissance.”
Hortense Spillers (Ph.D. Brandeis), Co-Editor, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, Vanderbilt University. Author of the essay collection Black, White, and in Color. Editor of the collection Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text; co-editor with Marjorie Pryse of Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction and the Literary Tradition, and an editor of The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Director of Issues in Critical Investigation (ICI), an initiative to stimulate new scholarship in African diasporic studies, which she founded in 2007; founding editor of The A-Line Journal, A Journal of Progressive Commentary, which she launched in 2013. Recent work has appeared in Callaloo and boundary 2.
Cheryl A. Wall (Ph.D. Harvard), Editor, Literature Since 1975. Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English, Rutgers University. Author of Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition and Women of the Harlem Renaissance. Editor of Zora Neale Hurston: Novels and Stories and Zora Neale Hurston: Folklore, Memoirs & Other Writings; two volumes of criticism on Hurston’s fiction, “Sweat”: Texts and Contexts and Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Casebook; and Changing Our Own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women. Co-editor with Linda J. Holmes of Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara.