What Do I Read Next?
The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley (1964), is a stunning record of one man's ability to educate himself and fight for the rights of African Americans. It continues the tradition of African-American autobiography and the relationship of African-American protest literature to literacy issues.
The Oxford Frederick Douglass Reader, edited by William Andrews and published in 1996, provides a wide variety of later writings by Douglass that include impassioned speeches, excerpts from his later autobiographies, letters, and his novella The Lessons of the Hour.
Toni Morrison's novel Beloved, published in 1987 and winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, depicts the horrors of slavery and its traumatic aftermath, even for those who think they have escaped its dehumanizing effects.
In her book Black Looks: Race and Representation, published in 1992, African-American scholar and writer Bell Hooks looks at how African Americans are represented in contemporary media and popular culture.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's popular antislavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, first published in 1862, provides an interesting counterpoint to Douglass' Narrative. Written by a white abolitionist, the book became an instant success, selling over three hundred thousand copies during its first year. It details the injustices of slavery in the South, mostly via the character named Tom.
I Was Born a Slave: An Anthology of Classic Slave Narratives, edited by Yuval Taylor and published in 1999, is a two-volume anthology of slave narratives that reveal a broad range of slave experiences from the seventeenth to mid-nineteenth centuries.
The Norton Anthology of African-American Literature (1996), edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Nellie McKay, is a comprehensive collection of the African-American literary canon, including poetry, fiction, drama, and autobiography, as well as vernacular forms such as spirituals and blues songs.