Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (General Editor, Harvard University)Nellie Y. McKay (General Editor)William L. Andrews (Editor)Houston A. Baker, Jr. (Editor, Duke University), Et Al.

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The Norton Anthology of African American Literature


Nine new writers

The Second Edition includes nine new writers spanning three centuries: Jupiter Hammon, Venture Smith, Martin Delany, Elizabeth Keckley, Gayl Jones, Caryl Phillips, Edwidge Danticat, Colson Whitehead, and Harryette Mullen.

Strengthened Vernacular Tradition

Building on the editors’ view that vernacular expression lives in performance, the original Audio Companion CD has been expanded to a two-CD set; Disc 1, Music, includes vocal and instrumental pieces-from ragtime to Motown. Disc 2, Spoken Word, offers 24 speeches, readings, and performances, from Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois to Amiri Baraka and Rita Dove.

11 complete longer works

  • Venture Smith, A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, A Native of Africa: But Resident Above Sixty Years in the United States of America (new)
  • Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
  • James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
  • Nella Larsen, Quicksand
  • Richard Wright, The Man Who Lived Underground
  • Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha
  • Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
  • Amiri Baraka, Dutchman
  • Ed Bullins, Goin’a Buffalo: A Tragifantasy
  • Adrienne Kennedy, A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White
  • August Wilson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

Strengthened Apparatus and a More Readable Format

  • An extensive, new Selected General Bibliography
  • Revised—some entirely rewritten—period introductions, headnotes, footnotes, and updated author bibliographies
  • Updated timeline
  • A new trim size and bolder typeface for easier reading

Thoroughly Revised "Literature Since 1975"

Succeeding the late Barbara Christian, new editor Cheryl A. Wall has included 5 new writers-poet Harryette Mullen and fiction writers Gayl Jones, Caryl Phillips, Edwidge Danticat, and Colson Whitehead. In addition, Wall has rewritten the period introduction and many headnotes in their entirety and updated all apparatus.