By & About Black Women

Black women's literature--our stories, poems, histories, essays and autobiographies--reflects a tradition of self-determination to preserve our humanity and dignity, too often against entrenched social norms that tell us we are anything but normal.
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(Recently sold titles are noted. All titles subject to prior sale.)

Sojourner Truth: A Life A Symbol
Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century   A Norton Critical Edition (Norton 1997 Pb $13)

Charlotte L. Forten, The Journal of Charlotte L. Forten
   (Norton 1981 Pb, $8.50)
Gerda Lerner, The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina  
   (Oxford UP 1998 Pb, $12.50)
Jacqueline Bernard, Journey Toward Freedom:
   (Feminist Press at CUNY 1993 Pb $9)

Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
   (Harvest/HBJ 1973 Pb, $6.50)
Harriet E. Wilson, Our Nig; or, Sketches in the
  (Random House 1983 [orig. published in 1859] Pb, $7.99)

NRB Note . . .
Harriet Wilson's novel, Our Nig, is an autobiographical account of Frado, a mulatto girl held in indentured servitude in Massachusetts and Rhode Island by a White family, the Bellmonts. After breaking free from the harsh abuse of Mrs. Bellmont and her daughter, Frado later marries Samuel, a scheming preacher  who abandons Frado when she becomes pregnant. Left in poverty, Frado gives up her son to a foster home. At the end of the novel, Harriet Wilson lifts the veil of fiction and appeals directly to readers, asking them to buy her novel so that she can earn royalties and regain custody of her son. Our Nig, originally published in 1859, reflects determination for individual liberty, dignity, and strong mother love, themes that remain prevalent in the contemporary fiction of Black women.


Rebecca Carroll, Sugar in the Raw (Clarkson Potter 1997 Pb $6) SOLD

Maya Angelou
  Gather Together In My Name (Bantam 1975 MM $5)
  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  The Heart of a Woman (Random House 1997 Hb $10.50)

NRB Note . . .
Maya Angelou / NRB (C) 2009

In her segment of "Master Class" on the Oprah Winfrey Network, poet and author Maya Angelou declares, "love is liberating." We do not show love by trying to bind people to us but by giving them away, allowing them their own voice and freedom, she says.  For more than four decades, Ms. Angelou has shown her love for humanity by giving herself away to her readers, in moving and enlightening autobiographies, phenomenal poetry, prose and affecting performances, in the style and grace of her Black womanhood.

Melba Pattillo Beals, Warriors Don't Cry: The Searing
Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High
 (Washington Square Press 1995 Pb $11)
Elaine Brown, A Taste of Power (Pantheon 1993 Hb $13) SOLD
Gail Horne Buckley, The Hornes: An American Family
  (Knopf 1986 Hb, $18)
James Comer, Maggie's American Dream (Plume 1989 Pb, $9)
Angela Davis, Angela Davis: An Autobiography SOLD
   (Intnl Publ 1989 Pb, $12.50)
Charity Adams Earley, One Woman's Army: A Black Officer
   Remembers the WAC
    (Texas A$M University Press 1989 HB $18)
Anita Hill, Speaking Truth to Power (Anchor 1998 Pb, $8) SOLD
Zora Neale Hurston
Dust Tracks on a Road (U of Ill Press, 1985 Pb, $10.50)
I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...And Then Again
   When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive
Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, Balm in Gilead 
  (Addison-Wesley 1989 Pb, $8.99)
Pauli Murray, Song in a Weary Throat:
  An American Pilgrimage (Harper Collins 1987 First Ed. Hb, $15) SOLD
Jill Nelson, Volunteer Slavery (Noble Press 1993 Hb, $9.50) SOLD
Mary Beth Rogers, Barbara Jordan: American Hero
  (Bantam 1998 Hb $12)
Madam C.J. Walker
On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times
of Madam C.J. Walker by A'Lelia Bundles
(Scribner 2001 HB $15)
Myrlie Evers-Williams, Watch Me Fly: What I Learned
on the Way to Becoming the Woman I was

  Meant to Be   (Little Brown 1999 Hb $11)

Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, Barbara Smith, Eds.,
But Some of Us Are Brave [All the Women Are White, all the Blacks Are Men]
  (Feminist Press 1982 Pb, $18.50)
Bill Mullen, Ed. Revolutionary Tales: African American Women's
   Short Stories from the First to the Present
Mary Helen Washington, Ed. Invented Lives: Narratives of
 Black Women 1850-1960 (Anchor 1987 Pb, $13.50)

Barbara Chase-Riboud
Echoes of Lions (Morrow 1989 HB Ex-Lib
 (Avon 1980 Pb, $4)

The Joys of Motherhood
by Buchi Emecheta
NIGERIA - Novelists
Buchi Emecheta
  The Family (George Braziller 1990 Pb, $9)
  The Joys of Motherhood (George Braziller 1990 Pb, $9)

Tina McElroy Ansa, You Know Better: A Novel
   (Morrow 2002 Pb, $5.50)
Connie Briscoe, Big Girls Don't Cry
   (Anchor 2001 Hb, $9.99)
Octavia Butler
  Mind of My Mind SOLD
  Parable of the Sower (Warner 1995 MM, $5.50)
Bebe Moore Campbell, Brothers and Sisters
  (Putnam 1994 Hb, $11)
  (Clarkson Potter 1994 Pb, $8)
J. California Cooper, The Matter is Life
  (Anchor 1992 Pb, $5)
Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory
Zora Neale Hurston
  Jonah's Gourd Vine
  Their Eyes Were Watching God (Harper 1990 Pb, $8.25)
Nella Larsen, Quicksand and Passing
   (Vintage 1984 Pb, $8)
Terry McMillan
   A Day Late and A Dollar Short
  (Washington Square Press 1990 Pb, $7.25)
  (Viking 1996 Pb, $8.99)
  Mama (Pocket Books 1994 MM, $4.50)
  Waiting to Exhale
Big Girls Don't Cry
by Connie Briscoe
Toni Morrison
  Love (Knopf 2003 Hb, $10.50)
  Love (Vintage 2005 MM)
  Song of Solomon (Plume 1987 Pb, $7)
Gloria Naylor
  Mama Day (Ticknor & Fields 1988 Hb $8.25)
  The Men of Brewster Place (Hyperion 1998 Hb $5)
Ann Petry
The Narrows (Beacon Press, 1995 PB $5.50)
Ntozake Shange, Liliane
   (St. Martin's Press 1994 Hb, $9)
Alice Walker
  Possessing the Secret of Joy
  The Color Purple
  The Third Life of Grange Copeland
Dorothy West, The Living is Easy
   (The Feminist Press at CUNY 1982 Pb, $10.50)

Melba Patillio Beals, Warriors Don't Cry (Memoir of 
  (Washington Square Press 1995 Pb $11)
Madeline Cartwright For the Children: Lessons from a
   Visionary Principal
    (Doubleday 1993 HB Ex-Lib
Marva Collins, Marva Collins' Way
  (Jeremy Tarcher 1982 Pb, $7.50)
Marian Wright Edelman, The Measure of Our Success
  (Harper 1993 Pb, $4)
Michelle Foster, Black Teachers on Teaching
   (The New Press [NEW] 1997 HB $12) 
Theresa Perry, Lisa Delpit, The Real Ebonics Debate: 
Children (Beacon Press 1998 Pb $12)
Identity, Empowerment, Liberation, Inspiration

NRB Note . . .
Black women have a strong activist tradition of speaking out against injustice in America, which is documented in the early decades of the 19th century. In an era that frowned on women asserting themselves in public, both Maria Stewart and Sojourner Truth risked public scorn and personal safety as outspoken advocates of social equality for Black women. Following in the trail blazed by these two pioneering activists were poet and abolitionist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, educator Anna Julia Cooper, anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells Barnett and subsequent generations of Black women who have articulated the particular impact of laws and social values on Black women and the Black community, generally. A selection of these works by and about Black women is listed below.

Elizabeth Alexander, The Black Interior: Essays
  (Graywolf Press 2004 Pb,$10)
Maya Angelou
  Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now
     (Random House 1993 Hb, $8)
  Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now
     (Bantam 1994 MM )
Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga, Eds.,
   This Bridge Called My Back SOLD
  (Little Brown 1998 Hb, $13)
  (Morrow 1999 Hb, $10)
Anita Hill -  Clarence Thomas (Wayne State University Press 1995 PB ) SOLD
Bell Hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
  (South End Press 1999 Pb, $9) SOLD
  (Pantheon 1992 Hb, $14)
Patti LaBelle Patti's Pearls (Warner 2001 HB Ex-Lib
Audre Lorde, Zami, Sister Outsider, Undersong
  (Quality Paperback 1993 Pb, $11) SOLD
Diane Roberts The Myth of Aunt Jemima SOLD
Anna Deavere Smith
  (Anchor 2001 Pb, $9.99)
Geneva Smitherman, Editor African American Women
   Speak Out on
Alice Walker
Technical Difficulties
by June Jordan
In Search of Our Mother's Gardens
  (Scribner 1996 Hb, $14.50)
  (Verso Books 1990 Pb, $13.75)
Michelle Diane Wright, Broken Utterances:  A Selected Anthology of 19th Century Black Women's Social Thought (Three Sistahs Press 2007 Pb, $17) SOLD
Paula Giddings, When and Where I Enter: The Impact of
Black Women on Race and Sex in America

Joan Hoff, Law, Gender & Injustice: A Legal History of U.S. Women
  (New York University Press 1994 Pb, $16) SOLD
Maya Angelou, Letters to My Daughter
  (Random House 2008 Hb, $11)

Black Women Writers
Mari Evans, Ed.

Valerie Sweeney Prince, Burnin' Down the House SOLD
   (Columbia University Press 2005 Pb, $10)
   (Morrow 2000 Pb, $12)

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (Signet 198 MM, $2.75)SOLD
Anna Deavere Smith, Fires in the Mirror
Naomi Long Madgett, ed., Adam of Ife: Black Women in Praise of Black Men (Lotus Press 1992 Pb, $9.50)
Just Give Me a Cool Drink of
Water 'fore I Diiie
by Maya Angelou
Elizabeth Alexander, The Venus Hottentot
   (University of Virginia Press 1990 Pb, $16)
Maya Angelou
  I Shall Not Be Moved (Bantam 1991 Pb, $6)
  Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie
      (Bantam 1973 Pb, $7.25)
Gwendolyn Brooks Selected Poems (Harper 1973 Pb
Lucille Clifton Good Woman: poems and a memoir
   1969 - 1980 (BOA Editions Ltd 1987 Pb 
Nikki Giovanni Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgement
   (Morrow 1970 Pb
Alice Walker
     (HBJ 1991 Hb, $10.50)
  Horses Make A Landscape Look More Beautiful SOLD