African Americans & the Arts
Revised by Mika Slaughter Nelson
Black American Fiction. 1978. REF PS153 .N5F34
An alphabetical listing by author of published works, short fiction, reviews, biography, and criticism. Does not include children’s materials. There is a bibliography of general criticism at the end, but no index.
Black American Playwrights, 1800 to the Present. 1976. REF PS153 .N5A69.
Alphabetically arranged by name, this bibliography lists published and unpublished works together with references to reviews and criticism of the writers’ works. Contributions to anthologies and periodicals are noted.
A supplement was published in 1978 -- More Black American Playwrights [REF PS153 .N5A7] -- which adds 300 new names and updates 190 from the first edition. Each volume concludes with a general bibliography and a title index.
Black American Women in Literature: A Bibliography, 1976 Through 1987. REF PS153 .N5G6 1989.
“Includes the poetry, short fiction, novels, essays, and plays by, and criticism on, approximately 300 women whose work has been published in periodicals and anthologies between 1976 and 1987.” Full-length studies and published books are included. Arranged alphabetically by name. Appendices list general works of criticism, authors by genre, abbreviations of works cited, and an author/title index.
A Century of Fiction by American Negroes, 1853-1952. REF Z1361 .N39W5.
Listed alphabetically by author, each entry is briefly annotated. A chronology is appended, but there is no index.
Contemporary African American Novelists: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. REF PS374 .N4 C658 1999.
This source contains biographies of 80 contemporary African American novelists, including bibliographical information on each of the authors’ works. Includes an index.
Coretta Scott King Awards Book, 1970-1999. REF PS153 .N5C675 1999.
An annotated list of the authors and illustrators who have won the Coretta Scott King Award. The award was established in 1970 by the American Library Association and is given to an author and an illustrator of African American children’s books.
Modern African American Writers, REF PS374 .N4M63 1994.
Part of the Essential Bibliography of American Fiction Series, entries are arranged alphabetically by author. Each entry gives a list of the author’s works and biographical and critical material about the person and his/her writings. Appended is a checklist of books and journals “essential to the study of modern American fiction,” plus an index.
Selected Black American Authors. 1977. REF PS153 .N5P3.
An alphabetically arranged biobibliography of 453 black writers spanning three centuries from 1746 to the present. Each entry is illustrated with a likeness of the author. Appended are a title index, a subject index, and a bibliography of sources.
African American Authors, 1745-1945: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. REF PS153 .N5 A32 2000.
This is a collection of biographical pieces on 78 notable African American authors. Each piece ends with a bibliography of the author’s work. Includes an index.
African American Writers: A Dictionary. REF PS153 .N5 A3444 2000.
A compendium of lengthy biographical/critical essays on thirty-four African American writers. Each entry is signed and carries a selected primary bibliography of the author’s works and a secondary bibliography of works about the author. A chronology precedes the main text, and a subject index follows.
Black American Writers Past and Present. 2 v. 1975. REF Z1229 .N39R87.
Presents biographical, bibliographical, and critical information on about 2,000 black writers. A 60-page general bibliography is at the end of the second volume along with a list of names of black critics, historians, and editors.
Black Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Young Adults: A Biographical Dictionary. REF PN1009 .A1 R62 1999.
A biobibliography of 115 authors and illustrators of children’s and young adults’ materials. Photographs and jacket covers appear in the middle of the book. Appendices include a list of awards and honors, publishers’ series, publishers and bookstores, and a title index.
Dictionary of Literary Biography. REF PS221 .D5
“An [ongoing] series of separately edited volumes, each a collection of biographical, bibliographical, and critical essays on authors. . . . Each volume . . . is devoted to a single type, genre, geographic era or time period. . . . Because each volume has a single focus, an author may appear in more than one volume; the approach in each will be different.” Essays are signed, carry extensive bibliographies, and are illustrated with photographs or line drawings. A cumulative index appears at the end of each volume.
Volumes to date dealing specifically with African Americans are:
Afro-American Poets Since 1955 (vol. 41)
Afro-American Fiction Writers After 1955 (vol. 33)
Afro-American Writers, 1940-1955 (vol. 76)
Afro-American Writers After 1955: Dramatists and Prose Writers (vol. 38)
Afro-American Writers Before the Harlem Renaissance (vol. 50)
Afro-American Writers From the Harlem Renaissance to 1940 (vol. 51)
African American Resource Guide to the Internet and Online Services. REF E185 .B33 1996.
A basic how-to and where-to-go manual on using various electronic resources with the greatest emphasis on the Internet and the World Wide Web. Additional chapters cover newsgroups, black colleges and universities, black businesses, the federal government, and the “global black family.” Appendices list African Internet connections by country, U.S. public libraries on the Internet, a bibliography, and a subject index.
African American Women Playwrights: A Research Guide. REF PS153 .N5 G29 1999.
This guide provides biographical and critical information on 10 playwrights. Along with background and criticism, summaries of key plays and playscripts are included. This guide has an index.
Essential Black Literature Guide. REF PN841 .V35 1996.
An alphabetical listing of “more than 450 authors, works, and movements that together reflect the diversity, the depth, and the significance of black literature.” This guide “is culled from the comprehensive volume The Schomburg Center Guide to Black Literature From the Eighteenth Century to the Present” [see below]. A timeline, a bibliography, and an index are appended.
Schomburg Center Guide to Black Literature From the Eighteenth Century to the Present. REF PN841 .V36 1996.
This guide “has been designed to serve as a ready reference source on the authors, works, characters, general themes and topics, and literary theories relating to black literature.” Entries were selected for inclusion based on an advisory panel of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, housed in the Harlem Branch of the New York Public Library. Entries are arranged alphabetically, and illustrations are scattered throughout the text. A chronology precedes the main text, and a comprehensive subject index is appended.
African American Poetry. 1750-1900. WebLUIS (through the Libraries of the USF System Databases).
A full-text source containing nearly 3,000 poems by African American poets in the late 18 th and 19 th centuries.
Columbia Granger’s Index to African-American Poetry. REF PS153 .N5C55 1999.
A useful index, divided into three sections: a Title, First Line, and Last Line Index; an Author Index; and a Subject Index. Each is alphabetical. A list of the 65 anthologies containing the indexed poems appears at the front.
Index to Black American Writers in Collective Biographies. REF PS153 .N5C35 1983.
Gives references to biographical information on approximately 1900 African American writers appearing in 267 collective biographies published between 1837 and 1982. The term “writer” is broadly interpreted to include historians, literary critics, journalists, book illustrators, biographers, and others. A list of the collections indexed is at the back.
African-American Poetry (1760-1900). Libraries of the USF System.
Gives the text of nearly 3,000 poems written by African-American poets in the 18 th and 19 th centuries.
African-American Poetry of the Nineteenth Century. PS591 .N4A35 1992.
An anthology of 35 poets focusing on those “who produced one or more volumes of verse” prior to 1900. A brief biographical sketch precedes each entry. A bibliography and a subject index follow.
Afro-American Women Writers, 1746-1933. REF PS508 .N3A36 1988.
An anthology and critical guide to little-known African American women authors. Grouped in four chronological sections, each section carries on overall introduction to
the time period followed by a sketch of each author with a sample of her work. Appendices include additional biographical sketches plus source notes. Lacks an index.
African-American Writers: A Dictionary. REF PS153 .N5A3444 2000.
Covers 1770s to 2000. Entries are signed, carry references, and are occasionally illustrated. Major movements are also addresses (e.g., Harlem Renaissance, Slave Narratives). Appendices list writers by genre, a chronology of writers, a chronology of firsts, a list of reference codes, and an index.
Black Experience in Children’s Books. REF E185 .R745 1984.
An annotated bibliography of children’s books on black themes. The lists are divided by broad topics (picture books, poetry, reference, biography, etc.) and represent titles available at the Countee Cullen Regional Branch children’s room of the New York Public Library. An appendix lists the black authors and illustrators whose works appear in this bibliography. There is an author/title index at the end.
Black Literature Criticism. 3 v. REF PS153 ,N5B556 1992.
Presents a broad spectrum of the best criticism of works by major black writers of the past two hundred years. Each entry starts with a lengthy biographical sketch, a photograph of the author, and a chronological list of the author’s principal works. Excerpts from critical material are arranged in chronological order. A bibliography of further reading ends each chapter. There is an author index and a title index at the back of the final volume.
Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep. PS591 .N4E94 1994.
An anthology of poetry by African Americans since 1945. Entries are arranged by date of birth; each carries a brief biographical headnote. A combined bibliography and author index is appended.
Masterpieces of African-American Literature. REF PS153 .N5M264 1992.
Presents standard essays on 149 works of literature by African American authors, arranged alphabetically by title. Each signed entry gives a descriptive list of the principal characters and a synopsis of the work, followed by an analysis and criticism of the text. A title index and an author index follow at the back.
Masterplots II: African American Literature Series. 3 v. REF PS153 .N5M2645 1994.
“Contains 266 essays examining the major writings of the African American tradition, in all genres from poetry to nonfiction, drama to novels.” Arranged alphabetically by title, each signed entry gives a list of the principal characters and a synopsis of the work, followed by a discussion of the main themes and a critique. An annotated bibliography is appended. The final volume carries three indexes: title, author, and type of work.
New Cavalcade: African American Writing from 1760 to the Present. 2v. PS508 .N3N48 1991.
Provides a “representative selection of as much as possible of the best prose and poetry written by African Americans since 1776.” Each period is prefaced by a critical introduction, and there is a brief biographical headnote for each author. Each volume carries its own bibliography and index.
Norton Anthology of African American Literature. PS508 .N3N67 1997.
“A celebration of two centures of imaginative writing in English by persons of African descent in the United States.” Arranged by historical eras, each group is prefaced by a critical introduction with a biographical headnote for each author. Appendices include a literary timeline, a bibliography, and an index.
Young Adult Fiction by African American Writers, 1968-1993. REF PS153 .N5K88 1996.
A listing, alphabetical by author, of 166 fiction titles published between 1968 and 1993 targeted toward young adult readers. Each entry carries a lengthy synopsis of the plot and a critical evaluation of the work. The books are rated on a one-to-five-star scale, and a prefatory note lists the compilers’ best choices. Appendices list a publishing chronology, awards received by the authors and the books represented in the text, and an index of authors and titles. There is no subject index.
African-American Art. N6538 .N5P38 1998.
Covers 300 years of African-American art and artists; includes architecture, furniture, pottery, photography, and textiles as well as painting and sculpture. There is a bibliographic essay, a timeline, and an index at the back.
Against the Odds: African-American Artists and the Harmon Foundation. N6538 .N5R49 1989.
An exhibition catalog of artistic works gathered by the Newark Museum for a traveling show, this book expands on the usual catalogue raisonne with lengthy introductory chapters on African American art history. Each artist in the exhibition is given a page-length biography with an illustrative photograph attached. Appendices include a list of Harmon Foundation exhibition records, a selected bibliography, and a name and subject index.
By the Work of Their Hands: Studies in Afro-American Folklife. NK839.3 .A35V54 1991.
A study of African American art and material culture. Each chapter is illustrated and carries end notes. A bibliography and an index follow.
History of African-American Artists From 1792 to the Present. (Shelved on 2 nd floor in Oversized book section.) N6538 .N5B38 1993.
A lavishly illustrated history, broadly divided by time periods. Each section has an introductory chapter on the period under discussion, which is then followed by expository chapters on individual artists working during that time. An author/title/subject index is appended.
250 Years of Afro-American Art. 1981. REF N6538 .N5I46.
A comprehensive bibliography of crafts as well as fine arts, this volume is divided into three main sections: a basic bibliography arranged by author; a subject bibliography, topically arranged; and an artist bibliography, arranged alphabetically by individual artist. Many of the entries are briefly annotated. Appendices list artwork by anonymous artists and artwork by groups. No indexes.
America ’s Black Musical Heritage. ML3556 .B76 1984.
A history of African American music and its enormous influence on American music in general. The book is well-illustrated with examples of lines of music as well as photographs and drawings. Appendices include a list of compositions by composers included in the book, a bibliography, and a subject index.
Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Bohos: Notes on Post-Soul Black Culture. ML3479 .G44 1992.
“This book is about the culture of African-Americans who’ve come of age since the demise of the civil rights movement in the late ‘60s.” It chronicles the direction of black music from 1971 to 1991 as viewed by Village Voice columnist Nelson George. The text is preceded by a lengthy chronology. There is no index.
The Negro in Music and Art . ML3556 .P38 1969.
This is one of ten volumes in the International Library of Negro Life and History series published by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Signed essays deal with various aspects of black music and art, with two-thirds of the book devoted to music. Heavily illustrated, the text is followed by a bibliography and an index.
Theater and Film
African-American Films Through 1959. REF PN1995.9 .N4R54 1998.
An illustrated filmography, alphabetically arranged. Appendices give actor credits, a list of film companies, director and producer credits, a list of films by year, and an index.
Blacks in American Films and Television. PN1995.9 .N4B58 1988.
An encyclopedic overview of African Americans on the screen. The text is divided into three main sections: movies, television, and profiles of performers. The first two sections are alphabetical by title and give a short plot synopsis and a critique of the work. Producer, director, scriptwriters, and actors are listed. The third section gives biographical sketches of black actors and actresses with a list of screen credits. A selected bibliography precedes the text, and a name and title index comes at the back.
Blacks in Black and White. REF PN1995.9 .N4S2 1995.
A source book on black film, this book’s basic objective “is to present relatively little known facts concerning the all-Black cast films that were independently produced in the United States between 1910 and 1950.” After lengthy chapters on the history of black filmmaking, there is a section on synopses of black films arranged alphabetically by title (pp. 239-485). The text concludes with illustrated biographies of black actors (pp. 498-572). Appendices list black films produced in the United States prior to 1960, black-cast film companies, theaters catering to blacks, a black sound filmography, actors’ film credits, and a combined name/title/subject index.
Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their Plays . REF PS153 .N5P43 1988.
Provides biobibliographical information on more than 700 contemporary African American playwrights. Appendices include lists of additional specialized playwrights, a bibliography of additional information sources, a title index, and a general index.
The Development of Black Theater in America: From Shadows to Selves. PS338 .N4S26 1988.
“This study approaches the history of black theater as the process of creating a black stage reality, of freeing black figures of their metaphoric burden and making the ground on which they stand their own.” The works of five black American playwrights (Willis Richardson, Randolph Edmonds, Langston Hughes, LeRoi Jones, Ed Bullins) are examined. A bibliography and a subject index follow.
Redefining Black Film. PN1995.9 .N4R45 1993.
An interrelated history of black independent film production and black participation in black-oriented films controlled by whites. Appendices include chapter notes, a selected bibliography, a name and subject index, and an index of film titles.
Their Place on the Stage: Black Women Playwrights in America. PS338 .N4B76 1988.
Gives a historical overview of black women playwrights in the twentieth century with particular emphasis on three major examples: Alice Childress, Lorraine Hansberry, and Ntozake Shange. Much of the book, however, takes a critical look at black drama in this century. Chapters carry endnotes; there is a selected bibliography at the back and a subject index.