A landmark collection documenting the social, political, and artistic lives of African American women throughout the tumultuous nineteenth century. Named one of NPR's Best Books of 2017.
The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers is the most comprehensive anthology of its kind: an extraordinary range of voices offering the expressions of African American women in print before, during, and after the Civil War. Edited by Hollis Robbins and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this collection comprises work from forty-nine writers arranged into sections of memoir, poetry, and essays on feminism, education, and the legacy of African American women writers. Many of these pieces engage with social movements like abolition, women’s suffrage, temperance, and civil rights, but the thematic center is the intellect and personal ambition of African American women. The diverse selection includes well-known writers like Sojourner Truth, Hannah Crafts, and Harriet Jacobs, as well as lesser-known writers like Ella Sheppard, who offers a firsthand account of life in the world-famous Fisk Jubilee Singers. Taken together, these incredible works insist that the writing of African American women writers be read, remembered, and addressed.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Hollis Robbins is director of the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University and chair of the humanities department at Peabody Conservatory.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and founding director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
“An extraordinary historical record.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A rewarding history, and a reminder that the past is never a single narrative. It's a conversation with itself and with the present, well worth having.” —NPR