Home Books Encyclopedia of African-American Literature

Encyclopedia of African-American Literature
  • Format
  • Authored by: Wilfred D. Samuels
  • From the Series: Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Literature
  • Trim Size: 7-3/8 x 9-1/4
  • ISBN-10: 0816050732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-5073-4
  • Status: In Stock
  • List Price: $75.00
  • Imprint: Facts On File
  • Published: 09/01/2007
  • Dewey Number: 810.9
  • Reading Level: Grades 9 and up
  • Pages: 640


Encyclopedia of African-American Literature covers the entire spectrum of the African-American literary tradition, from the 18th-century writings of pioneers such as Olaudah Equiano and Phillis Wheatley, to 20th-century canonic texts, to the finest of today’s best-selling authors and rap artists. This volume includes more than 500 engaging entries on major and minor writers, including fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, dramatists, and critics, as well as entries on the finest works of African-American literature, from all genres and time periods.

Coverage includes:

  • Maya Angelou
  • James Baldwin
  • Beloved
  • Black aesthetic
  • Black arts movement
  • Black Boy
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • The civil rights movement
  • The Color Purple
  • Frederick Douglass
  • W.E.B. DuBois
  • Ralph Ellison
  • Langston Hughes
  • Invisible Man
  • Jamaica Kincaid
  • Toni Morrison
  • Gloria Naylor
  • A Raisin in the Sun
  • Tricksters
  • Alice Walker
  • Phillis Wheatley
  • Richard Wright.


Index. Appendix. Bibliographies. Cross-references.

About the Author(s)

Wilfred D. Samuels is an associate professor of English and ethnic studies at the University of Utah, where he also directs the African American Studies Program. He holds a Ph.D. in American studies and African-American studies from the University of Iowa. His previous works include Five Afro-Caribbean Voices in American Culture, 1917–1929; "Of Our Spiritual Strivings": Recent Development in Black Literature and Criticism; and Toni Morrison. Samuels was the founding president of the African American Literature and Culture Society of the American Literature Association.

Reviews and Awards

"The 500-plus alphabetically arranged entries in this wide-ranging survey cover the canon...backed up by a thorough index of names and subjects."
School Library Journal

"...a strong resource in terms of its scope and breadth...an excellent starting point or background resource for anyone conducting research within the broad spectrum of African American literature."


"The coverage of new and emerging authors...is particularly strong...Those interested in an exploration of the African American literary tradition will appreciate this volume...Recommended."

"...helpful...progressive...clearly written...recommended..."
Library Journal

"...compact and accessible..."
SLJ Curriculum Connections

"...[a] concise, readable reference source...a good starting point for students researching African-American literature and its history...Recommended."
Library Media Connection

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