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African American Women Writers

African American women writers have provided insight into life for women and for African Americans since Phillis Wheatley in colonial America became the first published African American writer in what became the United States.
  1. African American Women
  2. Harlem Renaissance
  3. Women Writers
  4. Gwendolyn Brooks
  5. Angela Davis
  6. Charlayne Hunter-Gault
  7. Zora Neale Hurston
  8. Toni Morrison
  9. Sojourner Truth
  10. Alice Walker
  11. Ida B. Wells-Barnett
  12. Frances E. W. Harper (2)

African American Women Writers
African American women writers have helped to bring the black woman's experience to life for millions of readers. Here are some of these writers you should know.

African American Women on Race - 1902
In 1902, Dr. Daniel Wallace Culp published a book of essays on various issues facing African Americans of the day, including essays by several African American women. Includes biographical information.

Maya Angelou Quotes
Quotes by Maya Angelou, American poet and writer.

Maya Angelou Books
Find selected Maya Angelou books, including her autobiographical writing, essays and poems.

Marita Bonner
Marita Bonner, a figure of the Harlem Renaissance, stopped publishing in 1941 and became a teacher, though a few new stories were discovered among her notes after her 1971 death.

Angela Davis
Activist and professor who was "the third woman in history to appear on the FBI's most wanted list," her writings often address issues of women and politics.

Alice Dunbar-Nelson Books
Alice Dunbar-Nelson -- who also wrote as Alice Ruth Moore, Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson, and Alice Dunbar Nelson -- was an African American woman writer at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Her life and writing provide insight into the culture in which she lived. Here are some recommended books by or about Alice...

Alice Dunbar-Nelson Quotes
Quotes by Alice Dunbar-Nelson, writer, poet and activist.

Marian Wright Edelman
While her work with the Children's Defense Fund is what Marian Wright Edelman is most known for, her writings about children's issues have been popular and are part of her advocacy.

Old Elizabeth
Profile of Old Elizabeth, early African Methodist Episcopal preacher, emancipated slave, and African American woman writer.

Old Elizabeth: Text of Memoir of Old Elizabeth, A Coloured Woman
Text of the 1863 autobiography of an African American ex-slave and preacher, called Old Elizabeth.

Lorraine Hansberry
Lorraine Hansberry is best known for her play, A Raisin in the Sun, with universal, black, and feminist themes.

Harlem Renaissance Women: Dreaming in Color
From the roots to the blossoming to the neglect to the rediscovery of this important literary movement.

Zora Neale Hurston: Biography and More
Anthropologist and folklorist, this Harlem Renaissance writer died virtually forgotten. Fortunately, Alice Walker has brought her back to public attention.

Toni Morrison
Biography of Toni Morrison, Nobel winning writer and explorer of human experience through the experiences of black women.

Maria Stewart
Maria W. Stewart: a biography of Maria W. Stewart, pioneer public speaker and abolitionist.

Alice Walker
Probably best known for her novel The Color Purple, Walker is also an unabashed activist for causes she believes in.

Phillis Wheatley
A biography of Phillis Wheatley and an analysis of her poetry. Phillis Wheatley was a slave in Massachusetts at the time of the Revolutionary War who was educated by her owners and became a poet and sensation for a few years.

Phillis Wheatley - Analysis of Her Poems
Phillis Wheatley's poetry is an early example of slave writing, especially noteworthy at that time in America. Critics at the time doubted that the poems were written by a slave; critics through the decades have differed as to the importance and quality of her work.

Rita Dove: Lady Freedom Among Us
Virginian poet Rita Dove's poem to freedom, with images, mpegs, audio and text.

Harriet Jacobs: and the reframing of legal fictions
Christina Accomando, in a 1998 African American Review article, looks at how Harriet Jacobs' Life of a Slave Girl helps in looking at antebellum legal reasoning. An extensive analysis of the book that has become a prototypical slave narrative.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Etext version of the autobiography of ex-slave Harriet Jacobs, edited by Lydia Maria Child. Site includes commentary, the book's introduction by Lydia Maria Child, and the entire etext.

Jamaica Kincaid
BBC World Service feature on women writers highlights Jamaica Kincaid, born and raised in Antigua and now living and writing in the United States: her life events, key influences and themes, the works of this author, her style, and her thoughts on being a woman writer.

Susan Baker King Taylor, Reminiscences of Life with the 33d
An article by Kimberly J. Largent on the memoirs of this African American woman. Susan Baker King Taylor was secretly schooled in her young years, who became a laundress while her husband enlisted in the Union army. She also served as a nurse, cleaned guns, and generally helped with the "colored" regiment's business, short of actual fighting.

Shirley Graham Du Bois
Shirley Graham Du Bois, who went by the name Shirley Graham before her later-in-life marriage to W.E.B. Du Bois, was an activist, musician and writer. Her biographies of African American figures, written for young adults, helped bring many of those figures to renewed public attention.

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