Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
In Rare Books and Special Collections
John A. Williams (b. 1925). Nearly complete archive, including manuscripts, notes, drafts, and proof copies for the author's published works; minor unpublished works; photographs, memorabilia; correspondence that includes nearly 100 letters from Chester Himes; and a complete collection of his printed books. Acquisition includes all future archival materials produced by the author. John A. Williams is the author of Sissie (1963), The Man Who Cried I Am (1967), Captain Blackman (1972), and !ClickSong (1982), along with seven other novels and several volumes of non-fiction, chiefly concerning the African-American experience in America. John A. Williams collection.
Frederick Douglass Douglass lived in Rochester between 1847 and 1872. The Frederick Douglass Project, a collaboration between the library and the Frederick Douglass Institute here, "seeks to digitize all of the Frederick Douglass materials held in the collections of the University of Rochester Library."
Writing Through Jane Crow by In Writing through Jane Crow, Ayesha Hardison examines African American literature and its representation of black women during the pivotal but frequently overlooked decades of the 1940s and 1950s. At the height of Jim Crow racial segregation--a time of transition between the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts movement and between World War II and the modern civil rights movement--black writers also addressed the effects of "Jane Crow," the interconnected racial, gender, and sexual oppression that black women experienced. Hardison maps the contours of this literary moment with the understudied works of well-known writers like Gwendolyn Brooks, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, and Richard Wright as well as the writings of neglected figures like Curtis Lucas, Pauli Murray, and Era Bell Thompson. By shifting her focus from the canonical works of male writers who dominated the period, the author recovers the work of black women writers. Hardison shows how their texts anticipated the renaissance of black women's writing in later decades and initiates new conversations on the representation of women in texts by black male writers. She draws on a rich collection of memoirs, music, etiquette guides, and comics to further reveal the texture and tensions of the era. A 2014 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Publication Date: 2014-05-13
Reading Contemporary African American Literature by Reading Contemporary African American Literature focuses on the subject of contemporary African American popular fiction by women. Bragg's study addresses why such work should be the subject of scholarly examination, describes the events and attitudes which account for the critical neglect of this body of work, and models a critical approach to such narratives that demonstrates the distinctive ways in which this literature captures the complexities of post-civil rights era black experiences. In making her arguments regarding the value of popular writing, Bragg argues that black women's popular fiction foregrounds gender in ways that are frequently missing from other modes of narrative production. They exhibit a responsiveness and timeliness to the shifting social terrain which is reflected in the rapidly shifting styles and themes which characterize popular fiction. In doing so, they extend the historical function of African American literature by continuing to engage the black body as a symbol of political meaning in the social context of the United States. In popular literature Beauty Bragg locates a space from which black women engage a variety of public discourses.
Publication Date: 2014-11-12
Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance by From the music of Louis Armstrong to the portraits by Beauford Delaney, the writings of Langston Hughes to the debut of the musical Show Boat, the Harlem Renaissance is one of the most significant developments in African-American history in the twentieth century. The Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, in two-volumes and over 635 entries, is the first comprehensive compilation of information on all aspects of this creative, dynamic period. For a full list of entries, contributors, and more, visit the Encyclopedi a of Harlem Renaissance website.
Publication Date: 2004-10-17
Extravagant Abjection by 2012 Winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award presented by the Modern Language Association Challenging the conception of empowerment associated with the Black Power Movement and its political and intellectual legacies in the present, Darieck Scott contends that power can be found not only in martial resistance, but, surprisingly, where the black body has been inflicted with harm or humiliation. Theorizing the relation between blackness and abjection by foregrounding often neglected depictions of the sexual exploitation and humiliation of men in works by James Weldon Johnson, Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka, and Samuel R. Delany, Extravagant Abjection asks: If we're racialized through domination and abjection, what is the political, personal, and psychological potential in racialization-through-abjection? Using the figure of male rape as a lens through which to examine this question, Scott argues that blackness in relation to abjection endows its inheritors with a form of counter-intuitive power--indeed, what can be thought of as a revised notion of black power. This power is found at the point at which ego, identity, body, race, and nation seem to reveal themselves as utterly penetrated and compromised, without defensible boundary. Yet in Extravagant Abjection, "power" assumes an unexpected and paradoxical form. In arguing that blackness endows its inheritors with a surprising form of counter-intuitive power--as a resource for the political present--found at the very point of violation, Extravagant Abjection enriches our understanding of the construction of black male identity.
Publication Date: 2010-07-12
African American Travel Narratives from Abroad by During the Jim Crow era, African American travelers faced the prospects of violence, harassment, and the denial of services, especially as they made their way throughout the American South. Those who journeyed outside the United States found not only a political and social context that was markedly different from America's, but in their international mobility, they also discovered new ways of identifying themselves in relation to others. In this book, Gary Totten examines the global travel narratives of a diverse set of African American writers, including Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Matthew Henson, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Zora Neale Hurston. While these writers deal with issues of identity in relation to a reimagined sense of self -- in a way that we might expect to find in travel narratives -- they also push against the constraints and conventions of the genre, reconsidering discourses of tourism, ethnography, and exploration. This book not only offers new insights about African American writers and mobility, it also charts the ideological distinctions and divergent agendas within this group of writers. Totten demonstrates how these travelers and their writings challenged dominant ideologies about African American experience, expression, and identity in a period of escalating racial violence. By setting these texts in their historical context and within the genre of travel writing, Totten presents a nuanced understanding of both popular and recovered work of the period.
Publication Date: 2015-06-29
The Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature, Volume 1 by The Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature is a comprehensive collection of poems, short stories, novellas, novels, plays, autobiographies, and essays authored by African Americans from the eighteenth century until the present. Evenly divided into two volumes, it is also the first such anthology to be conceived and published for both classroom and online education in the new millennium. Reflects the current scholarly and pedagogic structure of African American literary studies Selects literary texts according to extensive research on classroom adoptions, scholarship, and the expert opinions of leading professors Organizes literary texts according to more appropriate periods of literary history, dividing them into seven sections that accurately depict intellectual, cultural, and political movements Includes more reprints of entire works and longer selections of major works than any other anthology of its kind This first volume contains a comprehensive collection of texts authored by African Americans from the eighteenth century until the 1920s The two volumes of this landmark anthology can also be bought as a set, at over 20% savings.
Publication Date: 2013-12-13
African American Writing by Werner Sollors' African American Writing takes a fresh look at what used to be called "Negro literature." The essays collected here, ranging in topic from Gustavus Vassa/Olaudah Equiano to LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, and in time from the Enlightenment to the Obama presidency, take a literary approach to black writing and present writers as readers and as intellectuals who were or are open to the world. From W.E.B. Du Bois commenting on Richard Wagner and Elvis Presley, to Zora Neale Hurston attacking Brown v. Board of Ed. in a segregationist newspaper, to Charles Chesnutt's effigy darkened for the black heritage postage stamp, Sollors alternates between close readings and broader cultural contextualizations to delineate the various aesthetic modes and intellectual exchanges that shaped a series of striking literary works. Readers will make often-surprising discoveries in the authors' writing and in their encounters and dialogues with others. The essays, accompanied by Winold Reiss's pastels, Carl Van Vechten's photographs, and other portraits, attempt to honor this important literature's achievement, heterogeneity, and creativity.
Publication Date: 2016-04-29