Have A Question? Chat With Us.

This is a 24/7 chat service provided through Maryland AskUsNow!.

African American Literature

Use the Periodical Finder to identify which print and digital journals the library provides access to. Examples of relevant titles include: Callaloo, QBR, Obsidian, Mosaic, African American Review, and Black American Literature Forum.


African American literature
An ebook by Stephen Currie, offered via Gale Virtual Reference Library by clicking on link next to "Electronic Access" (library card will be required if accessing outside of the library). Browsable via the index tab, or chapters of the table of contents that each highlight an era between 1600 and the present.
African American Literature Book Club
Offers author profiles, book and film reviews, interviews, events, blogs, forums, and information about upcoming and recent publications.
African American Women Writers of the 19th Century
Features full text of 52 published works (41 full length books), searchable by keyword, as well as browsable by title, author, or genre (fiction, poetry, essays, biography & autobiography) . Offers brief biographical information about writers. From New York Public Library's Digital Schomburg. 
African American writers
A biographical dictionary  by Valerie Smith, offered via Gale Virtual Reference Library as an ebook  by clicking on link next to "Electronic Access" (library card will be required if accessing outside of the library). Browsable via the index tab, or table of contents which alphabetically lists the authors who are profiled. Change drop box option to volume 2 in order to see second portion of authors (from June Jordan to Richard Wright).
Black Literature Criticism
An ebook edited by Jelena O. Krstovic, offered via Gale Virtual Reference Library by clicking on link next to "Electronic Access" (library card will be required if accessing outside of the library). "Focuses on writers and works published since 1950. The majority of the authors surveyed are African American, but representative African and Caribbean authors are also included." Browsable via the index or  table of contents (for volume 1 click on "Achebe-Dumas" to open up a list of the range of names, or use drop down function to search volumes 2 (Ellison-Lorde) and 3 (Mackey-Zobel)
C-SPAN coverage of the Harlem Book Fair
Many videos from the annual Harlem Book Fair which hosts panel discussions, usually of authors discussing their books and associated themes, or hot topics within the African American community.
Freedom's Story: Teaching African American Literature and History
Features many relevant essays by leading scholars, primarily arranged by time period (1609-1865, 1865-1917, 1917 and beyond) and browsable by title. From the National Humanities Center--TeacherServe.
Library of Congress - Digital Collections
Offers full text of writings by African Americans, including scanned images of original plays by Zora Neale Hurston, as well as hundreds of items of  From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1822-1909 (contents are about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics) and African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907 (bulk of the material published between 1875-1900). Frederick Douglass papers includes thousands of items including his diary, family papers, correspondence, speeches, etc.
Literature and Life: The Givens Collection
Hour long 1998 Twin Cities PBS documentary (streaming video). Addresses the "importance of the written word in the past, present and future" and how "literary works help us understand the African-American's role in the making of America". A complementary website briefly highlights select eras, authors, and their impact.
Voices from the Gaps - University of Minnesota Libraries Digital Conservancy
Includes author biographies, book reviews, academic essays, and interviews primarily regarding women writers of color. Scroll to the bottom of the page to browse, or use keyword search at top. Content was originally created by students and volunteers, and managed by the English Department.


Black Thought and Culture

Black Thought and Culture from Alexander Street Press connects students and researchers with works by leading African Americans. More than 100,000 pages of monographs, speeches, essays, articles and interviews, written by leaders within the black community from earliest times to 1975, illustrate the evolution of what it means to "be black". Teachers, artists, politicians, religious leaders, athletes, veterans, entertainers and others are represented.


Maintained by the staff of the African American Department, State Library Resource Center, Enoch Pratt Free Library